Imagined communities reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism
What makes people love and die for nations, as well as hate and kill in their name? While many studies have been written on nationalist political movements, the sense of nationality - the personal and cultural feeling of belonging to a nation - has not received proportionate attention. In this widely acclaimed work, Benedict Anderson examines the creation and function of the "imagined communities" of nationality and the way these communities were in part created by the growth of the nation-state, the interaction between capitalism and printing and the birth of vernacular languages in early modern Europe.
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Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism
What are the imagined communities that compel men to kill or to die for an idea of a nation? This notion of nationhood had its origins in the founding of the Americas, but was then adopted and transformed by populist movements in nineteenth-century Europe. It became the rallying cry for anti-Imperialism as well as the abiding explanation for colonialism. In this scintillating, groundbreaking work of intellectual history Anderson explores how ideas are formed and reformulated at every level, from high politics to popular culture, and the way that they can make people do extraordinary things. In the twenty-first century, these debates on the nature of the nation state are even more urgent. As new nations rise, vying for influence, and old empires decline, we must understand who we are as a community in the face of history, and change.
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