Margaret Sankey's Reviews > Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism

Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson
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's review
Feb 05, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

Anderson wrote the original version of this in the early 1980s, concentrating on Latin American Independence and Asian nationalism of the Cold War--so this updated reappraisal takes into account the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Balkans and the redefinition of identity in the European Union, as well as corrections to translations Anderson didn't do himself back in the original manuscript (and discovered were pointedly, sometimes politically deliberately incorrect, which is a piece of evidence in itself). The insights here are structural--the 19th century embrace of standardized national language and printing, the educational systems and bureaucracy for the homeland and the empire, military academies, censuses and maps.

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