The Spectre Of Comparisons

Overview

“‘Come, let us build a Third Kingdom, and in this Third Reich, hey, sisters, you will live happily; hey, brothers, you will live happily; hey, kids, you will live happily; hey, you German patriots, you will see Germany sitting enthroned above all the peoples in this world.’ How clever Hitler was, brothers and sisters, in depicting these ideals!”

Thus the late President Sukarno of Indonesia, an anti-colonial leader, in a public speech while accepting an honorary degree, and viewing Europe and its history through ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $10.02   
  • New (7) from $30.82   
  • Used (12) from $10.02   
Sending request ...

Overview

“‘Come, let us build a Third Kingdom, and in this Third Reich, hey, sisters, you will live happily; hey, brothers, you will live happily; hey, kids, you will live happily; hey, you German patriots, you will see Germany sitting enthroned above all the peoples in this world.’ How clever Hitler was, brothers and sisters, in depicting these ideals!”

Thus the late President Sukarno of Indonesia, an anti-colonial leader, in a public speech while accepting an honorary degree, and viewing Europe and its history through an inverted telescope, as Europeans often regard other parts of the globe. Strange shifts in perspective can take place when Berlin is viewed from Jakarta, or when complex histories of colonial domination strand what counts as the founding work of a national culture in a language its people no longer read. The “spectre of comparisons” arises as nations stir into self awareness, matching themselves against others, and becoming whole through the exercise of the imagination.

In this series of profound and eloquent essays, Benedict Anderson, best known for his classic book on nationalism, Imagined Communities, explores these effects as they work their way through politics and culture. Spanning broad accounts of the development of nationalism and identity, and detailed studies of Southeast Asia, the book includes pieces on East Timor, where every Indonesian attempt to suppress national feeling has had the opposite effect; on the Philippines, where it is said that some horses eat better than stable-hands; on Thailand, where so much money can be made in elected posts that candidates regularly kill to get them; on the Filipino nationalist and novelist José Rizal for whom “we mortals are like turtles—we have value and are classified according to our shells;” and a remarkable essay on Mario Vargas Llosa, detailing the fate of indigenous minorities at the hands of the modern state.

While The Spectre of Comparisons is an indispensable resource for those interested in Southeast Asia, Anderson also takes up the large issues of the universal grammars of nationalism and ethnicity, the peculiarity of nationalist imagery as replicas without originals, and the mutations of nationalism in an age of mass global migrations and instant electronic communications.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Michael Vatikiotis
A Balkan tragedy in Asia: Is it possible? In his new study of nationalism, Cornell University scholar Benedict Anderson offers a disquieting paradox that could be applied to the region. Borderless trade and the free movement of capital are the essence of globalization. But this influential thinker argues that they can also be a force for disintegration. "Is capitalism, in its eternal restlessness," he asks, "producing new forms of nationalism?" —Far Eastern Economic Review
Library Journal
To open this collection of essays, Anderson (international studies, Cornell) refines the theory of nationalism he developed in his acclaimed Imagined Communities (1983). Anderson deftly identifies the forces that forge a nation--an "imagined community" frequently incongruent with the state--from a group of people sharing some degree of common heritage. Subsequent essays examine the nationalism peculiar to each Southeast Asian country and draw comparisons among countries. Anderson also highlights the forces inhibiting the coalescence of a regional consciousness and the formation of a regional political bloc. Chief among these, he contends, are the proximity of China and the prevalence of authoritarian regimes. Finally, a provocative closing essay seeks to rehabilitate the reputation of nationalism, which has suffered in the post-Cold War years. A useful addition to the burgeoning literature on nationalism, this book illuminates the passions that have formed--and sometimes deformed--the modern world. Strongly recommended for academic libraries.--James Holmes, Fletcher Sch. of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts Univ., Medford, MA
Michael Vatikiotis
A Balkan tragedy in Asia: Is it possible? In his new study of nationalism, Cornell University scholar Benedict Anderson offers a disquieting paradox that could be applied to the region. Borderless trade and the free movement of capital are the essence of globalization. But this influential thinker argues that they can also be a force for disintegration. "Is capitalism, in its eternal restlessness," he asks, "producing new forms of nationalism?"
Far Eastern Economic Review
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859841846
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 9/17/1998
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 0.86 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

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.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Map
Author's Note
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
Pt. I The Long Arc of Nationalism
1 Nationalism, Identity, and the Logic of Seriality 29
2 Replica, Aura, and Late Nationalist Imaginings 46
3 Long-Distance Nationalism 58
Pt. II Southeast Asia: Country Studies
4 A Time of Darkness and a Time of Light 77
5 Professional Dreams 105
6 Gravel in Jakarta's Shoes 131
7 Withdrawal Symptoms 139
8 Murder and Progress in Modern Siam 174
9 Cacique Democracy in the Philippines 192
10 The First Filipino 227
11 Hard to Imagine 235
Pt. III Southeast Asia: Comparative Studies
12 Elections in Southeast Asia 265
13 Radicalism after Communism 285
14 Sauve Qui Peut 299
15 Majorities and Minorities 318
Pt. IV What Is Left?
16 El Malhadado Pais 333
17 The Goodness of Nations 360
Index 369
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)