Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism
By Benedict Anderson
(Verso, Paperback, 9781844670864, 240pp.)
Publication Date: November 17, 2006
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Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson’s brilliant book on nationalism, forged a new field of study when it first appeared in 1983. Since then it has sold over a quarter of a million copies and is widely considered the most important book on the subject. In this greatly anticipated revised edition, Anderson updates and elaborates on the core question: what makes people live, die and kill in the name of nations? He shows how an originary nationalism born in the Americas was adopted by popular movements in Europe, by imperialist powers, and by the anti-imperialist resistances in Asia and Africa, and explores the way communities were created by the growth of the nation-state, the interaction between capitalism and printing, and the birth of vernacular languages-of-state. Anderson revisits these fundamental ideas, showing how their relevance has been tested by the events of the past two decades.
Benedict Anderson is Aaron L. Binenkorp Professor of International Studies Emeritus at Cornell University. He is editor of the journal Indonesia and author of Java in a Time of Revolution, The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World and Imagined Communities.
“[S]parkling, readable, densely packed.”—Peter Worsley, The Guardian
“[A] brilliant little book.”—Neal Ascherson, The Observer
“Anderson’s knowlege of a vast range of relevant historical literature is most impressive; his presentation of the gist of it is both masterly and lucid.”—Edmund Leach, The New Statesman