T.J.'s Reviews > Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson
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May 17, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: master-s-degree, history, colonial-post-colonial, thinkin-critically
Recommended for: pretentious grad students, people inerested in nationalism, that one angry Kosovar/Serbian you know
Read in September, 2005

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 movements, but its' an intriguing and clever synthesis of historic information. In his revised version, Anderson also has learned Spanish and managed to make his own translation of Rizal's No Le Me Tangere, which improves greatly over the original and makes his analysis fresher. I like an author who can go back and expand his research, making his work fresher overall. Good job, Mr. Anderson.
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