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Benedict Anderson
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Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  4,880 ratings  ·  219 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

Unknown Binding, 160 pages
Published May 1st 1983 by Verso (first published 1983)
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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
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
عمرو عبدالعزيز
سريع مُركز ممتاز .. دراسة سريعة أي نعم لكنها تحيط بجوانب غير قليلة من موضوع غامض بشدة مثل القومية .. يحتاج إلى حد ما إلى الإطلاع على الجزء الأول من كتاب نور الدين حاطوم عن القوميات و نشأتها لكي تكتمل الصورة ..
مقدمة عزمي بشارة جيدة جداً و هي كتاب آخر داخلي لا يقل في الجودة ..
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
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
Jul 09, 2007 Hamad rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Apr 26, 2007 Dan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
An indispensable canonical book for student of nationalism.
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
Oct 03, 2007 Gina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
Vip Vinyaratn
Mar 11, 2008 Vip Vinyaratn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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.
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.
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
Apr 13, 2009 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Students of politics, history, economics
Recommended to Michael by: Professor David Johnson
This book puts forth a simple thesis: that nations exist only in the minds of those who comprise them. It suggests that certain developments of modern culture (such as printed news, censuses, and colonialism) led to an awakening of "national consciousness" in the population, beyond merely the ruling class who traditionally had a stake in patriotic identity, and thus helped to consolidate the power of the State. Breaking from previous accounts, he sees nationalism as first developing among "creol ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mazidah Mohamad
Mike told me I dont have to read a book from its front to back, I just have to read those chapters I find interesting and relevant to my research/interests. The rest of the chapters might not be relevant to the reader altogether. I did just that. Ive only read Introduction, Cultural Roots and the Origin of Nation Consciousness. These 3 chapters are enough for me to get the gist of Anderson's Imagined Communities. All communities are imagined. He conceptualised this based on the knowledge that we ...more
Benedict Anderson dalam “Imagined Communities” atau “Komunitas-Komunitas Terbayang”, mencoba menelusuri asal-usul bangsa dalam narasi sejarah peradaban Eropa mulai abad ke-15. Menurutnya, kebangkitan kapitalisme cetak yang dipicu oleh gerakan reformasi gereja, telah menumbuhkan sebuah komunitas masyarakat Eropa baru. Jika sebelumnya bahasa Latin nyaris memonopoli pengetahuan dan peradaban, setelah kitab suci berhasil diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Jerman, maka semakin teranglah jalan pencarian id ...more
Patrick McCoy
I first heard about Benedict Anderson's seminal study of nationalism, Imagined Communities, from a newspaper article in The Bangkok Post while on vacation in Thailand a few years back. It's not such an unlikely place to hear about Anderson since it turns out that he is somewhat of an expert on SE Asian countries. It seems that he has made his name studying Indonesia, but he has also published widely on Thailand and the Philippines including the intriguing title, In the Mirror: Literature and Pol ...more
محمود سمير 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
May 17, 2008 T.J. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: pretentious grad students, people inerested in nationalism, that one angry Kosovar/Serbian you know
This is one of my favourite theory books. Although he does dip into wordiness at times, Ben Anderson does a great job here. His analysis of the creation of nationalism and his subsequent declaration that nations are indeed "imagined communities,' or constructs that we use to create ourself against others, is brilliant of that common sensical variety.

It's not a perfect book, and I'm not sure how much I buy his belief in Latin American creoles constituting some of the first real nationalist moveme
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
Poo1987 Roykaew
Good taste. Very impressive and spicy. Deconstructing the old perspective of nation and reconstructing our new attitude of such 'imagined communities'. The author disclosed the connection between mind and material, that which nation-states inevitably require for shaping memories and identifying themselves. It is easy to access, but quite complex to understand. I am not sure if it is true that Anderson compromised - indeed combined - "positivist" and "postmodernist" analyses. Anyway, it is a good ...more
Having not been schooled too much in political science but heavily in Linguistics and languages, I found Arnold's thesis on the origin of nationalism, relying heavily on an imagined linguistic community through the rise of print-capitalism (i.e. nations are younger than you would think) to be quite eye-opening. It was intuitive to me that most national communities are somewhat artificial projections (granfalloon, anyone?) but the deconstruction and analysis of the concept were a fascinating argu ...more
Zachary Taylor
Benedict Anderson's groundbreaking thoughts on nationalism as presented in Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism are most certainly timeless; even without the two additional chapters in his second addition Anderson's arguments are altogether relevant and informative. His revelatory comments on print capitalism, the vernacularization of language, and the distinct differences between nationalist movements in the Americas, Europe, and Southeast Asia all form part ...more
Dice Benedict Anderson en su libro: "una teoría verosímil acerca del nacionalismo es claramente escasa". El diagnóstico es, en efecto, muy preciso; lamentablemente el autor no hace nada para paliar ese problema, al contrario: contribuye a la confusión en torno a ideas filosóficas como nación, Estado, nacionalismo, nacionalidad, que son oscurecidas por Anderson. El Estado-nación es una comunidad imaginada porque nunca conoceremos a todos nuestros paisanos, dice, afirmación que ha sido repetida ha ...more
Sepide Fallah
a Marxist theory that speaks about the Nationalism and its aspects and reflections as Imagined (not natural) community. and shows its relations and appropriations from Religion saying both Ideologies try to answer the question of Death and immortality. making values and how nationalities make a sense of Love between their members.
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.
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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...
Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination The Spectre of Comparisons: Nationalism, Southeast Asia, and the World Language and Power: Exploring Political Cultures in Indonesia Mitologi dan Toleransi Orang Jawa Java in a Time of Revolution: Occupation and Resistance, 1944-1946

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“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.” 6 likes
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