Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Revised Edition)

Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Revised Edition)

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 global spread of the 'imagined communities' of nationality.

Anderson explores the processes that created these communities: the territorialization of religious faiths, the decline of antique kingship, the interaction between capitalism and print, the development of vernacular languages-of-state, and changing conceptions of time. He shows how an originary nationalism born in the Americas was modularly adopted by popular movements in Europe, by the imperialist powers, and by the anti-imperialist resistances in Asia and Africa.

This revised edition includes two new chapters, one of which discusses the complex role of the colonialist state's mindset in the develpment of Third World nationalism, while the other analyses the processes by which, all over the world, nations came to imagine themselves as old.

Title:Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Revised Edition)
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780860915461
Format Type:

    Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Revised Edition) Reviews

  • Kelly

    UPDATED: Amazing how reading this for a different class brought out a totally different discussion. The last class I read this for was called "Uses of History in International Affairs," and we spent t...

  • Murtaza

    One of my longstanding grievances with the public education system is its approach to geography. The jigsaw of nations most children are taught comprise the world is essentially posited as something t...

  • Sean Chick

    Anderson has a good point about how language and the collapse of religious absolutism created nationalism but he fails on two points. First his language is haughty and over the top, including referenc...

  • Jan-Maat

    errrghgrh.There are things that I really like about this book and then there are things which threaten to make this a list of what abouts rather than a review, all complicated by the unheimlich feelin...

  • Roy Lotz

    Boy, am I glad to have finally read this. Imagined Communities is the force behind much of the scholarship in the social sciences I find most interesting. Seeing someone’s name so often in brackets ...

  • David M

    Not exactly a Marxist theory of nationalism, but a deeply sympathetic investigation by a man who happens to have Marxists political leanings. While showing how national identities are socially and his...

  • Steve

    bias flag: I am a former student of Professor Anderson. More accurately, he was my undergraduate thesis advisor. I have a neutral memory of my sessions with him, which is to say I don't remember much;...

  • Ross

    Definitely an 'essential read', but did his style have to be so annoying? "Unjungled," Benedict? "Museumized?" Those aren't words. Not cute, either. Stop with the scare quotes, too, jeez. And would yo...

  • Hamad

    This is a very important, but difficult read. Even though the author mentions that he did not want to introduce any academic lingo, it is still difficult to comprehend at times, and the academic struc...

  • ·Karen·

    A hugely influential work, first published in 1983, which delineates the 'processes by which the nation came to be imagined, and, once imagined, modelled, adapted and transformed.' Anderson is an expe...