This major new work by Professor Anthony D. Smith challenges the notion of nationalism as a product of modernity. In a startling rejection of current orthodoxies, he demonstrates that different political forms of community and collective identity from pre-modern times have contributed to the formation of nations and determined the varied character of nations and nationalisms. His ideas derive from a life-time's learning, distilled here into a concise, clear argument for scholars and novices alike.
Professor Smith identifies three main cultural traditions of antiquity: hierarchy, covenant and civic republic. He argues that these distinctive traditions retained their hold over the European educated classes from England to Russia and from Sweden to Spain. He analyzes the chronology and nature of nations, from the ancient world, to the European Middle Ages, the early modern, and the modern eras. He ends with a discussion of the alternative destinies facing modern nations as a result of their often multi-stranded character.
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About the Author
Anthony D. Smith is President of the Association for the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is author of numerous works on nationalism including The Ethnic Origins of Nations (Blackwell, 1986), Chosen Peoples: Sacred Sources of National Identity (2003) and The Antiquity of Nations (2004). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Nations and Nationalism.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations viii
About the Book xii
Introduction: The Theoretical Debate 1
The Concept and Its Varieties 12
Ethnic and Religious Roots 28
Community in Antiquity 48
Hierarchical Nations 76
Covenantal Nations 107
Republican Nations 135
Alternative Destinies 160