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Notes on Nationalism

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,302 ratings  ·  151 reviews
In this essay, Orwell discusses the notion of nationalism, and argues that it causes people to disregard common sense and become more ignorant towards factuality. Orwell shows his concern for the social state of Europe, and in a broader sense, the entire world, due to an increasing amount of influence of nationalistic sentiment occurring throughout a large number of countr ...more
Paperback, 52 pages
Published February 22nd 2018 by Penguin Classics (first published May 23rd 2012)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  1,302 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We've not changed much since Orwell wrote his essays on nationalism during the Second World War.

Well now, that is not shocking, but quite depressing. The enemies of specific tribes may have changed, but the lunacy, as Orwell calls it, to see one power unit (the own one, that is, of course) as absolutely, unfailingly good, and all other power units as evil, or at least bad or inferior, still reigns unbeaten on our tiny and overcrowded lunatic asylum planet. Even if Orwell discusses the tribalism
Steven Godin
Good essay that grabs ones attention on the subject of nationalism. Orwell approaches the idea with an unbiased opinion, with the concept of nationalism being more loyal to a philosophy to the point you start to ignore its failings and stop using reason to analyse it in comparison to other ideas.
Three key points make up his concept - Positive, Negative and Transferred, and how different types of political ideologies can be nationalistic without representing a nation state. At times he is undone
Nabilah Firdaus
“By nationalism, I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions and tens of millions of people can be confidently labeled ‘good’ or ‘bad.’”

Cutting and classic reflections on nationalism. Orwell eloquently explained the dangerous concept of nationalism, of how it is not to be confused with patriotism. He analysed the principal characteristics of nationalist thought, its various forms and at the same time, advocated for
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
In hindsight I only rated this 3 stars because it didn’t put me to sleep. I find Orwell extremely dull.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Three brilliant essays written in 1945: "Notes on Nationalism", "Antisemitism in Britain" and "The Sporting Spirit".


In case you didn't know, I'm one of those fanatics who want 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' to be added to the New Testament canon (I've already sent a formal request to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Just wait and see). So this short book was a nice surprise: a good introduction to Orwell's prophetic milestone, and kind of a summary of its devastati
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From the moment I first heard about the new Penguin Modern Classics series on the YouTube channel of Jean Bookishthoughts, I've become a little obsessed with this collection of books. Where I purchased only a handful of the classics from a few years ago, in the days since the launch of the new series I've become the owner of 12 of the 50 titles. #sorrynotsorry

At just £1 a book this is a very affordable series, making it a great entryway to modern literature and voices if you're not yet familiar
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
More than his novels, it is in George Orwell's lucid and far-from-didactic essays on an incredible range of topics of English concern that we find his real strength as one of the foremost chroniclers of the 20th Century. The themes and ideas that feel somewhat ambiguous and hazy in his fiction are fleshed out brilliantly in his writings on themes both major and minor. Even the smallest of his pieces, like ones on both insular and eclectic subjects like English cooking and even Mahatma Gandhi, ar ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars

This was surprisingly interesting. This was a collection of three essays focusing on the idea of nationalism. George Orwell analysed how people and groups of people fixate on certain ideas and groups whilst systematically trying to shut down all other ideas. Or well focused on communism, anti-semitism and other political ideas. I found this book really interesting and actually highlighted the crap out of it. The ideas discussed in the book drew many similarities with current times but w
Między sklejonymi kartkami
"Notes on Nationalism" - 1/5
"Antisemitism in Britain" - 3/5
"The Sporting Spirit" - 2/5
Mark Joyce
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like so much of Orwell’s oeuvre this collection of essays written in 1945 is still urgently relevant today. Obviously this is partly attributable to the brilliance of the author but also reflects the depressing rut that British politics has been stuck in for close to a century. The focus here is on nationalism, which Orwell defines broadly to include both the chauvinistic, dishonest, self-serving post-imperial nostalgia that has captured the Conservative Party with such disastrous national conse ...more
Lilly  Minasyan
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of those books that I had the urge to highlight everything!
The one quote that I will share in my review is this one:
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”
I understand why this book isn’t mandatory in schools, because it challenges you and your way of thinking in such a good way, that I cannot even put it into the words. And in some countries, if you are a blindsided nationalist
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I still like Orwell's writing and his novels but I do wish his anti-Communism wasn't so obvious when analyzing various forms of Nationalism. It is interesting how he mentions that intellectual figures seem to forget to apply the judgment of other nationalist movements to their own tendencies, something that Orwell clearly does as well.

Still, the three essays were quite interesting and, not shockingly, we still haven't properly figured out in 2019 a proper study of Nationalism in its different va
Jul 04, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 I didn't agree with everything said in these 3 essays. However, they provide a nice snapshot of British (and European) sociopolitical history around the time of the second world war, which I find so interesting. And for all that some stuff is outdated, a large amount of it is still extremely relevant to today!
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely bloody fantastic - possibly the best pound I've ever spent on any form of entertainment.

Three short essays, all of which are poignant and thought-provoking, whatever your personal views.
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quite simply: essential reading.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: penguin-modern
An interesting read that hasn't aged in the slightest. Mr Orwell separates the difference between nationalism and patriotism before tearing the former to pieces. The many interesting points he makes regarding the two-faced atittude of what would today would be the modern lefty and sjw is, the belief in one thing until it is changed into something that fits their view.

This along with the other two essays are powerful stuff.

A copy of George Orwell's Essays is on the shelf and I am looking forward
Mehmed Gokcel
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in sociology or politics
“Political or military commentators, like astrologers, can survive almost any mistake, because their more devoted followers do not look to them for an appraisal of the facts but for the stimulation of nationalistic loyalties”

This short essay by George Orwell is a political analysis and a stinging rebuke of Nationalism during WW One and Two. It's amazing how it reflects the politics and issues facing us today as if nothing has really changed.

Notes on Nationalism is sharp, eye-opening, insightfu
This is something everyone should read as part of their history course imo. Having said that, ultimately this is basically an application of a critique of ideologies (which can then be extended as a critique of -isms and any extreme belief), which many other philosophers have worded better.
Dane Cobain
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is arguably the most relevant of the Penguin mini modern classics so far. In it, George Orwell investigates the differences between nationalism and patriotism whilst also investigating topics like anti-semitism and the role of sport. Amazing.
Rebecca Crunden
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, politics, essays
The point is that as soon as fear, hatred, jealousy and power worship are involved, the sense of reality becomes unhinged. And, as I have pointed out already, the sense of right and wrong becomes unhinged also.

I can't believe I haven't read this before now, but I'm so glad I found it in the bookshop the other day. Written in 1945, many of the quotes and observations about nationalism and hatred continue - depressingly - to be applicable to today. I thoroughly recommend this to everyone, not just
Oct 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Three essays on nationalism, patriotism, racism and sport. I was behind on my reading challenge, so looking through my Kindle for some shorter books that I had downloaded but not ever got around to reading. This ticked all the boxes. The three essays were all interesting, all well written (as you'd expect from Orwell - did this man really 'write' 1984?), and provided some excellent insight into the subjects that although written in 1945 still feel equally relevant to rise of nationalism today. T ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting essay mostly focused on antisemitism
Dec 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
I am quite confused on how to judge this.

George Orwell himself is a socialist who criticizes many political views to claim that socialism is the only ideology/theory that can improve Europe (and should spread universally?). This would completely contradict his final statement on moral effort, speaking on how we should struggle against our political preference to keep unclouded intelligentsia thriving. Orwell may give some pros of nationalism, but he brushes the reasoning off and focuses strongl
These three essays – on nationalism, antisemitism, and sports as politics – are typical Orwell: brilliant, insightful, and courageous, getting to the heart of the matter in a way that few are able or willing to. Every time I read Orwell, I’m impressed. He is just so good at understanding and dissecting the fuckery, which he does in an objective and balanced way – it’s astonishing. I can post a slew of quotes that demonstrate this. Truly he is the greatest British writer of the 20th century.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays, non-fiction
3 stars is generous really bc a lot of his analysis is terrible & ends up implying reverse racism/classism is a thing, something he groups under the umbrella of “nationalism” equal to actual racism/classism. No real thought about power structures in that way I guess? So many others have spoken and written better on these subjects in more thorough, more interesting ways tbh
Hestia Istiviani
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read in English but this review is being written in Bahasa Indonesia

Sederhana. Orwell memulai esainya dengan premis: "yang perlu Anda ketahui tentang menjadi seorang nasionalis dan bedanya dengan orang yang patriotis."

"By 'nationalism' I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled 'good' or 'bad'"

Orwell ingin memaparkan kepada pembaca bahwa menjadi nasionalis
Deepak Thomas
George Orwell is a personal hero. He represents to me what a writer should strive to be. To me the role of all creative endeavours is to entertain, educate and empower. And Orwell does all three whenever he lifts the pen.

I am in love with Animal Farm and 1984. I love his writing style. It is like a plain glass window, unembellished but conveys information with clarity.

Notes On Nationalism is not just a criticism of nationalism, it is a criticism of radicalism in general.
He goes after the commu
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Before all else, it must be noted that for the modern reader the ascription of the behaviours that Orwell sets before us to Nationalism is a rather dated one. As Orwell himself acknowledges, in his day Nationalism was merely an example par excellence of the set of behaviours he seeks to describe; by the same token, Solzhenitsyn would have similarly titled the essay 'Notes on Communism'. The perspicacious modern reader will have no difficulty in identifying these behaviours with that of adheren ...more
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-george
"The point is that as soon as fear, hatred, jealousy and power worship are involved, the sense of reality becomes unhinged."
The collection NOTES ON NATIONALISM feels like a version of the Mean Girl’s “burn book” but instead of high school petty drama, George Orwell eloquently teared into pieces the dangerous concept of nationalism. He dissected its various forms, presented the nuances of discussing such issue, and at the same time rallied for patriotism, the pure and sincere love of one’s co
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Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.

In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a police officer with the Indian Imperial
“Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism.” 5 likes
“Political or military commentators, like astrologers, can survive almost any mistake, because their more devoted followers do not look to them for an appraisal of the facts but for the stimulation of nationalistic loyalties” 4 likes
More quotes…