Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

by Benedict Anderson


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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 and die for nations, as well as hate and kill in their name?

Anderson examines the creation and global spread of the ‘imagined communities’ of nationality, and explores the processes that created these communities: the territorialization of religious faiths, the decline of antique kinship, the interaction between capitalism and print, the development of secular languages-of-state, and changing conceptions of time and space. He shows how an originary nationalism born in the Americas was adopted by popular movements in Europe, by imperialist powers, and by the movements of anti-imperialist resistance in Asia and Africa.

In a new afterword, Anderson examines the extraordinary influence of Imagined Communities, and the book's international publication and reception, from the end of the Cold War era to the present day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781844670864
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 11/16/2006
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.23(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Benedict Anderson was Aaron L. Binenkorp Professor of International Studies Emeritus at Cornell University. He was Editor of the journal Indonesia and author of numerous books including A Life Beyond Boundaries, Java in a Time of Revolution, The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World and The Age of Globalization: Anarchists and the Anticolonial Imagination.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition xi

1 Introduction 1

2 Cultural Roots 9

3 The Origins of National Consciousness 37

4 Creole Pioneers 47

5 Old Languages, New Models 67

6 Official Nationalism and Imperialism 83

7 The Last Wave 113

8 Patriotism and Racism 141

9 The Angel of History 153

10 Census, Map, Museum 163

11 Memory and Forgetting 187

Travel and Traffic: On the Geo-biography of Imagined Communities 207

Bibliography 230

Index 234

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"Sparkling, readable, densely packed." —-Peter Worsley, Guardian

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