Sean Chick's Reviews > Imagined Communities

Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson
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did not like it

Anderson has a good point about how language and the collapse of religious absolutism created nationalism but he fails on two points. First his language is haughty and over the top, including references to obscure stuff. I got most of them but others will be lost. Second he fails to elaborate on other things that caused nationalism to rise, such as technology, revolution, ideology, and warfare. Instead it is mostly presented as a matter of language and media. Also whenever he steps out of the language argument he seems more confused, as if he didn't really think about things that did not fit nicely into his thesis like culture. In conclusion this work has merit, but it can be difficult to understand and it is rather limited in scope. There are also some tremendous factual errors. Read it if your are interested in nationalism because it has great observations but this is by no means a definitive and complete work on nationalism.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
August 12, 2011 – Shelved

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message 1: by Leo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leo What he aimed at providing is not meant to be exclusive. There had been plenty of theories regarding the emergence of nationalism, Weber, Gelnar, Hobsbawm, etc. What he was presenting here was his original thesis. You are right on the point that too many people took this as the bible for studies of nationalism.

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