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

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Nations and Nationalism since 1780 is Eric Hobsbawm's widely acclaimed and highly readable inquiry into the question of nationalism. Events in the late twentieth century in Eastern Europe and the Soviet republics have since reinforced the central importance of nationalism in the history of the political evolution and upheaval. This second edition has been updated in light of those events, with a final chapter addressing the impact of the dramatic changes that have taken place. Also included are additional maps to illustrate nationalities, languages and political divisions across Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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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: 9781107604629
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2012
  • Series: Canto Classics Series
  • Edition description: Second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 206
  • Sales rank: 797,686
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. The nation as novelty: from revolution to liberalism; 2. Popular proto-nationalism; 3. The government perspective; 4. The transformation of nationalism, 1870–1918; 5. The apogee of nationalism, 1918–1950; 6. Nationalism in the late twentieth century.

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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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