Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality / Edition 2

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Recent events in Eastern Europe and the Soviet republics have reinforced the central importance of nationalism in the history of political evolution and upheaval. This second edition has been updated in the light of those events.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… succinct and masterly.' Roy Porter, New Statesman

'… never fails, great historian that he is, to supply the essential absorbing material.' Michael Foot, The Guardian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521439619
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1992
  • Series: Canto Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The nation as novelty: from revolution to liberalism 14
2 Popular proto-nationalism 46
3 The government perspective 80
4 The transformation of nationalism 1870-1918 101
5 The apogee of nationalism 1918-1950 131
6 Nationalism in the late twentieth century 163
1. National conflicts and frontier disputes, 1919-1934. Source: The Times Concise Atlas of World History (adapted with permission)
2. Peoples, languages and political divisions in the nineteenth century: the East European linguistic jigsaw. Source: The Times Concise Atlas of World History (adapted with permission)
3. Nationalities of the Habsburg empire c. 1910. Source: The Penguin Atlas of World History, vol. II (adapted with permission)
Index 199
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  • Posted October 24, 2008

    Nations and Nationalism forever

    According to the book ¿Nations and Nationalism since<BR/>1780¿ by Professor Hobsbawm, the national feelings of people will<BR/>fade and, eventually, disappear. Nation-states, the 18th-19th century<BR/>creation of European cultural elites, will cease to exist. The erudite<BR/>knowledge and masterful manipulation of historical facts brought in<BR/>support of the main thesis makes it difficult to defend any opposing<BR/>viewpoints. <BR/>I believe that the nationalities and national feelings,<BR/>important components of human identity and the driving force of many<BR/>conflicts, are here to stay. The growth of clans into tribes and their<BR/>subsequent merger into nations is not an invention of European cultural<BR/>elites. It is a phenomena as old as written history. The Bible has many<BR/>pages listing tribes begetting one another. The myths, legends and<BR/>sagas of Greeks, Slavs and Norsemen are no different. The creators of<BR/>native alphabets, founders of native schools or national newspapers,<BR/>collectors of national folklore ¿ in short, the cultural elites ¬-<BR/>they all brought coherency to the national feelings of people they<BR/>worked among, but they did not create nations.<BR/>The formation and birth of a nation is a natural process. We<BR/>can think of it as akin to the appearance of new species in the natural<BR/>world. The perpetual growth and reshuffling of humankind brings about<BR/>the births of new and disappearance of worn-out nations. The multitude<BR/>of competitive nations is needed to secure the existence of humanity in<BR/>the never-ending process of creation. Humankind is advanced through<BR/>ceaseless competition between different nations. <BR/>Professor Hobsbawm believes otherwise. He belongs to a<BR/>vanishing tribe of Marxists Internationalists. True to Marxist ideology,<BR/>whose goal is to create a classless and nation-less society, he believes<BR/>in the eventual disappearance of nations. By Professor Hobsbawm own<BR/>account (see his biography, Interesting times), the Communist movement<BR/>was the only ¿family¿ he ever truly felt at home with. Marxist<BR/>ideals shaped the worldview of Professor¿s Hobsbawm and he remains<BR/>captive to them. His book is the product Marxist thinking.<BR/>As if by mischief, the book front cover bears a reproduction<BR/>of Breughel¿s ¿The Tower of Babel¿, which contradicts the<BR/>¿nation-less future¿ thesis of the book. The arrogant builders of<BR/>the biblical Tower of Babel had to abandon the project punished by God,<BR/>who, to thwart their plans, confused them by making them speak different<BR/>languages. The Marxist vision of a class-less future without nations was<BR/>abandoned too. The Marxist ¿tower¿ came crushing down. The front<BR/>cover impishly symbolizes the futility and arrogance of the Marxist<BR/>project. <BR/>It is a shame so much knowledge and wit of Professor Hobsbawm<BR/>was spent propagating the ideas of misguided Marxist vision. Be as it<BR/>may, the sheer amount of facts and stories on nation-building in 19th<BR/>and 20th centuries makes the book ¿Nations and Nationalism since<BR/>1780¿ compelling reading for history buffs.

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