Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism” as Want to Read:
Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  6,650 Ratings  ·  314 Reviews

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 li

...more
Unknown Binding, 160 pages
Published May 1st 1983 by Verso (first published 1983)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Imagined communities, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

David Even though it is somewhat old, people still use it in the academy (I am using it for my MA thesis and I have friends that are doing the same). Also,…moreEven though it is somewhat old, people still use it in the academy (I am using it for my MA thesis and I have friends that are doing the same). Also, theory in the Humanities works differently than in the Sciences - it is more on how productive a theory in stimulating people to see things in different ways rather than being correct all the time.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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 the majority of our time talking about history as an act- history as narrative, history as an agenda, what someone might use these statements for. We were essentially diplomats in discussion, preparing our strategy of attack against the other side's claims. I don't think we discussed the validity of ...more
أحمد أبازيد Ahmad Abazed
شهرتُه تتكلّمُ عنه أكثر منّي ...
هذا الكتاب أحد أهمّ الكتب التي شغلت علماء الاجتماع و السياسة في العقود الأخيرة رغم أنّه لا يزيد على 200 صفحة .
يقدّم الكتاب نظريّة جديدة في نشوء القوميّة كجماعة متخيّلة , و عوامل و ظروف نشأة هذا التخيّل من الحروب و الأنظمة الكولونياليّة إلى سكّان المتروبولات , و كلّ وسائل ذلك و أدواته من اللغة ( أكثر ما أهمّني في الكتاب ) و الخرائط و التعداد و المتلحف و غير ذلك الكثير , رغم سلاسة اللغة و سهولة الأسلوب ( مقارنة بعمق الفكرة المطروحة طبعا ) فالكتاب يحتاج الكثير من الم
...more
Elena
Nov 17, 2015 Elena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt that there is something very amiss, strange, and almost unreal about the everyday human perception of reality. This book will shed light on the meaning of that fundamental intuition of “something lacking, something misplaced.” Anderson's book is, first and foremost, an incisive exploration of how humanity's relationship to reality is warped by our allegiance to reified, divisive, limited constructs of the group-mind that nonetheless each c ...more
Hadrian
So the big idea here is that nations are limited and sovereign entities, with power over a limited territory, but also that they are 'imagined', or socially constructed through the print media. This needs no real introduction, and most can get away with only reading the title and subtitle.

Such a thesis no doubt appears quaint to some twenty years later, with electronic media surpassing dead-trees-and-pulp non-fiction. It might be easy to dismiss the whole thing as obsolete, with the wonders of t
...more
Lauren
Jul 13, 2008 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Asserted as a Marxist text, Anderson attempts to revise readings of the development of nationalism in attempt to sort out the possibilities its offers for a Marxist agenda. Most importantly, Anderson defines the nation as 1) sovereign, 2) limited, and 3) fraternal. He sees the nation as a structural form of collective imagination that works to cohere through the rise of print capitalism (specifically mass-marketed news media and novels, but one could easily add photography to this list) and the ...more
Murtaza
Apr 23, 2016 Murtaza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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 timeless and ineffable, while in reality are they all very historically recent not to mention ephemeral and in most cases pretty arbitrary.

Benedict Anderson does a great job of deconstructing nationalism (not that hard), but much more importantly rebuilding how national consciousness, "imagined comm
...more
·Karen·
Jul 16, 2011 ·Karen· rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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 expert on Southeast Asia, and thus manages very successfully to avoid a purely Euro-centric view. Another extremely successful aspect of this work is the structure: each chapter ends with a succinct summary of its main ideas, a boon for those who need to take notes and revise what they've read, or indee ...more
Hamad
Jul 09, 2007 Hamad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thinkers and Leftists
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 structure is obvious.

It will truly make you think about history in a novel way once you do understand what is being described. However, the chapter on the Map, Census and Museum was the hardest to comprehend. Of course, the fact that so many themes in the book were hard to understand only goes to show h
...more
Lotz
Apr 26, 2016 Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 (Anderson, 1983) makes you curious, and Anderson does not disappoint.

For me, this is history at its most interesting—incisive, global in scope, entertaining, and not overladen with facts. Staying entirely within the purview and methodology of the discipline of history (unlike, say, Guns, Germs, and St
...more
Mohamed
Feb 24, 2014 Mohamed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pdf, 2014
اسم الكتاب رائع
مرهق رغم صغر عدد صفحاته
مقدمة لعزمى بشاره محتاجة 3 فنجاين من القهوة ديكتاب لوحدها
نيجي للكتاب الاصلي
اتكلم عن الحواجز اللي تجاوزتهم البشرية علشان توصل للشكل القومي
حاجز الدولة الدينية و الدولة السلالية اخيراً مفهوم وتصور الزمن
بعد كده الكاتب بينتقل لتفسير العوامل
اعظم جزء الخاص باللغة و ازي اللغات بتلعب دور في وهم القومية و دور راس المال المطبوع الصحافة و الكتب
الدولة عبارة عن وهم في دمغنا نتيجة معرفتنا ان في مجموعة من البشر مشتركين معنا في اللغة و الارض
الكتاب مرهق في مصطلحات غريب
...more
ماهرعبد الرحمن
كنت قد كتبت هذا التعليق في 2010، وكنت وقتها اتعمد كتابة تعليقات لا ريفيوهات حتى أتحاشي إن الناس تعمل لايك.. وكنت وقتها أظن أنه ليس هو الموضوع عمل لايك، بل القراءة وتبادل القراءة وفقط.. ولأن دائرة الأصدقاء وقتها كانت محدودة، فكنا نتبادل الأفكار وعروض الكتب وترشيحات القراءة.. كنت أريد أن يكون الأمر فقط على هذا النحو، بدون لايكات.. لكني وجدت أن بعض التعليقات قد ضاعت أو تم مسحها. وأيضا، بعد اتساع دائرة الأصدقاء و اتساع عدد مستخدمي الموقع نفسه وانتشاره.. رأيت أن زرار اللايك اللعين (أينما وُجد) هذا لن ...more
Chayuth
Mar 02, 2008 Chayuth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An indispensable canonical book for student of nationalism.
محمود النويشي
الانتشار الواسع للكتاب عالميا وترجمته للكثير من اللغات أمر يدل على أن هذا الموضوع ( القومية ) ما زال يحتاج إلى الداراسة من قبل المفكرين ، ويدل على أن نهم المعرفة حول الأمر كبير ، وهو أمر يستحق

فى مقدمة الكتاب تقديم عربى يعتبر كتابا مستقلا مميزا لا يمكن تجاهله كجزء نم المؤلف

يشرح المترجم سبب تسمية الكتاب بالجاماعت المتخيلة

يتحدث عن الجماعات الإثنية وكيف تنشأ عنها القوميات

يناقش الكتاب قضية القومية وما اذا كانت ظاهرة أم أيدولوجيا

يتحدث الكتاب فى قسط كبير منه عن اللغة ودورها فى منشأ القوميات وتدعيمها و
...more
Sean Chick
Jan 30, 2012 Sean Chick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 references to obscure stuff. I got most of them but others will be lost. Second he fails to elaborate on other things that caused nationalism to rise, such as technology, revolution, ideology, and warfare. Instead it is mostly presented as a matter of language and media. Also whenever he steps out of the la ...more
Andrew
A very impressive work on both a research and theoretical level. The syntheses that Anderson generates manage to cut through hundreds of years of history and thousands of miles of geography to create a cohesive, cogent approach that, fairly uniquely among works of this sort, manages to privilege neither time nor space. Well done.
Dan
Apr 26, 2007 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of history and theory
Shelves: critical, philosophy
Argues clearly and poetically that identities are constructed through shared media. Examines how newspapers and other media create a shared identity with people never met.

Pros: Excellent writing, clear argument, and historical evidence (almost exclusively) from the Spanish-speaking world.
Missy J
description

On December 13, 2015, Indonesia expert and history scholar Benedict Anderson passed away in Malang (Indonesia). A lot of obituaries in his honor appeared in traditional press and online media. When I read his life story, I was very impressed by his study of Indonesia (esp. regarding the 1965 incident, which led to him being banned from entering Indonesia for over 20 years) and his abilities to speak so many languages! His best-known work is Imagined Communities, where he discusses the origins of
...more
janet
What makes this text well worth reading are his intriguing examples and the methodical way he develops his highly original yet relatively straight forward argument. What I found particularly useful were his marxist explanation for how print capital helped create conditions for a nation as an imagined community, his exposition of the fact that nationalism developed in the Americas before Europe, and the wonderful way he shows how colonial administration and education sowed the seeds of rebellion ...more
Paul Bowler
May 20, 2016 Paul Bowler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating account of the invention of nationalism. Some of what Anderson explores I was already aware of, but I have been guilty of a certain euro-centric understanding of nationalism. The author quickly explains how nationalism also has origins in the Americas. The fact that this is a Marxist history was also interesting/challenging for this liberal reader.

My only problems with this book was my own ignorance. It employs jargon that often confused me and when he uses a non-English q
...more
Doris Pandžić
Jan 09, 2016 Doris Pandžić rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastičan osvrt na povijesnu uvjetovanost nastanka nacija i kritika nacionalizma kao društvene pojave.
Gina
Oct 03, 2007 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those into theories of nationalism
Shelves: dissndat
My friend saw this book on my desk and said, "Oh! that is such OLD news!" ehem...
Ben Anderson's book has influenced an entire generation of critics of nations and nationalisms. The book reads well (I enjoy the obvious pleasure with which he writes) and is still fresh to new readers like me. I enjoy his ability to position his work in friendly opposition to other scholars of nationalism

My favorite notion is by far that of "bourgeois aristocracy" in the colonies.

It's easy to navigate the book to f
...more
Andrew
Apr 03, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uncanny. This book about nationalism becomes a book about a lot more - identity, fantasy, infinite specificity, narration, the role of language in that narration, and the construction of meaning. It makes me think back to my childhood spent poring over maps and creating my own, and feeling deeply entertained by the "reality" of my imagination and concentration. It speaks to the pleasures of charting courses for different objects (i.e. elaborate races with toy cars) that relies on the generative ...more
Moataz
Jan 07, 2016 Moataz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كتاب يستحق شهرته، بما يضيفه من تحليل ومعلومات في سبيل فهم ظاهرة القومية..

يبدأ الكتاب بمقدمة رائعة لعزمي بشارة، تعتبر كتاب منفصل إذا جاز التعبير، فيها يثني عليه، ثم ينعطف إلى نقد قوي لبعض ما ورد في الكتاب، ويتركز في أمرين، قصور الكتاب في تناول الظاهرة عربياً، وأيضاً عدم تفرقته بوضوح بين الإيديولوجيا القومية والقومية.

متن الكتاب يُستهل بنقد لكلا التصورين الرائجين عن القومية، اليساري الذي يراها آفة العصر الحديث، والقومي الذي يزعم أنها موغلة في القدم.. ففي هذا الصدد يبرهن بندكت أندرسون على أن الإنتما
...more
Jim
Sep 25, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who has studied American history almost exclusively, I found Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson to be a refreshing and highly readable look at the cultural origins of, and theoretical explanations for, the rise of nationalism. Though often referencing histories and cultures with which I am unfamiliar, Anderson does a nice job of explaining their relevance to the overall theory he is trying to explain, in a way that doesn’t re ...more
Letitia
Jan 01, 2011 Letitia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbooks
In the early 80's, Anderson took on the nebulous and rarely asked question; what is nationalism and from where does it derive? This updated edition is a brilliant treatise of philosophical, historical and sociological import. Though I think he over-emphasizes the role of print capitalism, and perhaps skims the role of proximal geography and other difficult issues, overall I found this a tantalizing read.
Vip Vinyaratn
Mar 11, 2008 Vip Vinyaratn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: social science/history/philosophy student
Shelves: unfinished
Ben Anderson is one of the most cited and recited scholars in almost every department in my university. 'Imagined Communities' is a "must-read" for history and social science students, espeacially those who are interested in, and desire to comprehend the world after 20th century that is being shaped by, a metaphysical entities called Nation.
Ross
Feb 24, 2009 Ross rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 you translate your goddamn lengthy French quotations??? GOD.
Hammam Nimrawi
إن الكتابة التي تقول عن أفكار مهمة وذكية بلغة مباشرة وسهلة، بلا تقعر أو تذاك أو بهرجة لغوية، وتصيب هذه الأفكار كما يجب، من دون تقصير أو تسطيح، لكفيلة بعدل مزاجي لأيام. كتاب ممتاز.
Vaiva Sapetkaitė
Štai, ir vėl JAV knyga. Vis dėlto JAV mokslininko (beje, gimusio Kinijoje). Benedict Anderson dėka sužinojau daug visokių dalykų apie tokias man egzotiškas tautas kaip filipieniečiai, indoneziečiai, vietnamiečiai etc.

B.Anderson priklauso modernistinei nacionalizmo mokyklai (kartu su Ernest Gellner, Eric Hobsbawm ir kt.), nes jis tautas ir nacionalizmą laiko šiuolaikiniu produktu, susiformavisiu ekonominiams ir politiniams tikslams pasiekti. Modernistinė nacionalizmo aiškinimo mokykla oponuoja an
...more
Mariana Romo-Carmona
This books deserves 5 stars for the theory it proposes, one that revolutionized thinking about the origins of national identity-- but the writing makes arduous reading. Anderson makes the reader scale up, down, and around the peaks of his logic-- which is brilliant, no doubt--- but it takes away from the enjoyment that could be that moment of clear understanding when we can follow an author through through fascinating ideas that make the top of your scalp itch!

Nevertheless, the ideas behind his
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nations and Nationalism
  • The Invention of Tradition
  • The Location of Culture (Routledge Classics)
  • Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World
  • Culture and Imperialism
  • Europe and the People Without History
  • Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference
  • Outline of a Theory of Practice
  • States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China
  • The Country and the City
  • The Interpretation of Cultures
  • Silencing the Past
  • Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography
  • Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed
  • Coercion, Capital, and European States: AD 990 - 1992
  • Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization
  • The Nation & Its Fragments: Colonial & Postcolonial Histories
  • Lineages of the Absolutist State
5847920
Benedict Richard O'Gorman Anderson is Aaron L. Binenkorb Professor Emeritus of International Studies, Government & Asian Studies at Cornell University, and is best known for his celebrated book Imagined Communities, first published in 1983. Anderson was born in Kunming, China, to James O'Gorman Anderson and Veronica Beatrice Bigham, and in 1941 the family moved to California. In 1957, Anderson ...more
More about Benedict Anderson...

Share This Book



“the fellow members of even the smallese nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of the communion...Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity or genuineness, but in the style in which they are imagined.” 11 likes
“It is nice that what eventually became the late British Empire has not been ruled by an 'English' dynasty since the early eleventh century: since then a motley parade of Normans (Plantagenets), Welsh (Tudors), Scots (Stuarts), Dutch (House of Orange) and Germans (Hanoverians) have squatted on the imperial throne. No one much cared until the philological revolution and a paroxysm of English nationalism in World War I. House of Windsor rhymes with House of Schönbrunn or House of Versailes.” 1 likes
More quotes…