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The Nation & Its Fragments: Colonial & Postcolonial Histories

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  192 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In this book, the prominent theorist Partha Chatterjee looks at the creative and powerful results of the nationalist imagination in Asia and Africa that are posited not on identity but on difference with the nationalism propagated by the West. Arguing that scholars have been mistaken in equating political nationalism with nationalism as such, he shows how anticolonialist n ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published 1993 by Princeton University Press
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Much of the evidence Chatterjee provides refers to the specifics of Hindu philosophy and 19th Century Indian history. Being largely unfamiliar, I can't comment on these.

What I can comment on is Chatterjee's use of the concept of an "organic" nationalism that can act as a resistant to global capital. While I certainly sympathize with Chatterjee's critique of capitalism and his attack on orientalist programs (viz. basing all narratives of third-world experience on Western European models), his cri
J.M. Hushour
Feb 24, 2013 J.M. Hushour rated it did not like it
The epitome of all that is wrong with academia today. Abstruse, difficult, and so jargon-laden and expressionistic as to evoke gastrointestinal vulcanism. I'm no dummy, but I have no idea what this book is about. It seems to be a reading of Indian history and community-based nationalism though, as the back-cover blurb ejaculates the book "challenge[s] the Eurocentricity of...the nation-state, modernity, and indeed history itself". Uh-huh. Some choice gems:
"It is this objection that becomes the b
morning Os
Nov 23, 2009 morning Os rated it it was amazing
A great combination of theoretical reflection and narrative history. I don't know how he does that. It's amazing how easy the reading of this book is! Coming from the Korean historiography, I knew there were a lot of similarities (and the Korean imitation of subaltern studies) in colonial history writing, but it was much more significantly so than I expected.

I am super excited about his argument that colonialism is the heart of the modern state project. But I am left with the question of, so th
Scott Smith
Apr 24, 2011 Scott Smith rated it it was ok
Didn't like this as much as others I've read. The scholarship is very impressive but it was a chore to read through (even though i skimmed much of it) and not very approachable. But if someone was doing a specific bit of research on Indian nationalism or something this would be handy. Just not for me.
Dec 19, 2016 Leif rated it it was amazing
Chatterjee! :) :) :) Hells yes.
Nov 25, 2008 simon rated it liked it
Seminal, to say the least. Really good for the history of anticolonial efforts in India for the century leading up to independence. I wish that his chapters on the role of women in the anti-colonial imagination were better.
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hay man
Sep 29, 2011 hay man rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
it's okay but i'm not sure they 'get' the rest of the nationalism literature
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Partha Chatterjee is a Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University; he also teaches and was a former director at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, founded the Subaltern Studies Collective, and is a poet and a playwright.
More about Partha Chatterjee...

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