Read Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson Online


The full magnitude of Benedict Anderson’s intellectual achievement is still being appreciated and debated. Imagined Communities remains the most influential book on the origins of nationalism, filling the vacuum that previously existed in the traditions of Western thought. Cited more often than any other single English-language work in the human sciences, it is read aroundThe full magnitude of Benedict Anderson’s intellectual achievement is still being appreciated and debated. Imagined Communities remains the most influential book on the origins of nationalism, filling the vacuum that previously existed in the traditions of Western thought. Cited more often than any other single English-language work in the human sciences, it is read around the world in more than thirty translations.Written with exemplary clarity, this illuminating study traces the emergence of community as an idea to South America, rather than to nineteenth-century Europe. Later, this sense of belonging was formed and reformulated at every level, from high politics to popular culture, through print, literature, maps and museums. Following the rise and conflict of nations and the decline of empires, Anderson draws on examples from South East Asia, Latin America and Europe’s recent past to show how nationalism shaped the modern world....

Title : Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism
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ISBN : 9781784786755
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism Reviews

  • Kelly
    2019-02-10 17:23

    UPDATED: Amazing how reading this for a different class brought out a totally different discussion. The last class I read this for was called "Uses of History in International Affairs," and we spent the majority of our time talking about history as an act- history as narrative, history as an agenda, what someone might use these statements for. We were essentially diplomats in discussion, preparing our strategy of attack against the other side's claims. I don't think we discussed the validity of his claims at all, but rather focused on place they had in world events and history and how these ideas could affect our daily lives.This time, I'm in an international history program, filled with historians. This time we bypassed that discussion entirely, taking it for granted as established and agreed on, and concentrated on dissecting the arguments presented on their structure and substance, in a close analytical read that sought to draw on our knowledge of history to poke holes in his argument. This time, we are being trained to think of ourselves as peers, whose job it is to show the main behind the curtain well... mostly because he's there, to borrow a phrase. It was a trip back to the basics to remind us what these arguments are really about in the end, while also forcing us to question not to accept.Fascinating experience of the lines drawn between various disciplines and their goals- how the idea that "that's someone else's job" has very real effects in the formation of ideas.ORIGINAL:Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities may be over twenty five years old now, but that doesn't make it any less relevant, even had he not added on the chapters (as interesting as they were) that he adjusted himself with later on, after the fall of the USSR and later with his new ideas on the topic. (Though I love that he did that- it shows someone who is not content to rest on his laurels and whose ideas about the world were not set by the best-selling status of one book he wrote, and that he refuses to be tied to it. I like watching geniuses continue to change and develop.)In any case! It is quite relevant- especially since 9/11, as we see that the impact of nationalism hasn't declined in the least, and the attachment that people feel for it is very real and has very real consequences on people's lives. Anderson's basic thesis is that nations are "imagined communities," created in the New World by the creole bourgeoisie of the British and Spanish colonies by the conjunction of print journalism (which allowed groups of people to imagine themselves as a community, through providing the links that bound regions together), language, cultural imprints (such as "sacred script" cultures) and the forces of capitalism. He is writing this book to be useful to Marxist theorists, in order to fill what he feels is the gap in the Marxist analysis of nationalism. But it is by no means only useful to the Marxist or even liberal theorist. The reminder that nationalism is a new phenomenon, and that any pretentious to antiquity by any nation is absolutely ridiculous, and even the whole concept of a nation worth dying for is invented, not something that, as the Abbe Sieyes wrote in the French Revolution (perhaps understandably, he was trying to turn the nation of peasants into Frenchmen) "exists in the state of nature."Anderson says that nations have three conditions: that they are sovereign, limited, and a community. He talks about how these resulted from the specific time and place that the whole concept was invented, but also how they have been adapted and used throughout the world. One of the major strengths of his book (surely influenced by the period of criticism he was writing in) is its major focus on areas of the world outside of Europe (though many of those areas- as most of the world was- were European colonies): Southeast Asia, Latin America, China, Japan. It is fascinating to watch first the process by which he believes nationalism is formed and then nationalism's journey across time and space to crop up in its many different incarnations as various groups constantly find different uses for it. This is a book to be read and re-read constantly to remind oneself about questioning some very basic assumptions that a lot of people take for granted, and then questioning why those assumptions exist in the first place. I think this book constantly challenges you to look inward and to figure out what matters to you, how it got to matter to you so much, and how you may or may not have been steered that way by a government, leaders, education, or some other outside force that has nothing to do with "natural" feelings.I've always had a hugely negative, shuddering reaction to two things: religious fundamentalism and overbearing nationalism. This book helped give me the language (as Anderson would say himself) to better explain why.

  • أحمد أبازيد Ahmad Abazed
    2019-02-18 19:16

    شهرتُه تتكلّمُ عنه أكثر منّي ...هذا الكتاب أحد أهمّ الكتب التي شغلت علماء الاجتماع و السياسة في العقود الأخيرة رغم أنّه لا يزيد على 200 صفحة .يقدّم الكتاب نظريّة جديدة في نشوء القوميّة كجماعة متخيّلة , و عوامل و ظروف نشأة هذا التخيّل من الحروب و الأنظمة الكولونياليّة إلى سكّان المتروبولات , و كلّ وسائل ذلك و أدواته من اللغة ( أكثر ما أهمّني في الكتاب ) و الخرائط و التعداد و المتلحف و غير ذلك الكثير , رغم سلاسة اللغة و سهولة الأسلوب ( مقارنة بعمق الفكرة المطروحة طبعا ) فالكتاب يحتاج الكثير من المراجعات و التفكير فيه لاستيعاب حدود النظريّة التي يطرحها كاملةً .هناك الكثير من الأسئلة و الإشكاليّات أتصوّرها لو درسنا العرب كنموذج في هذه الأطروحة ( والكتاب يمرّ على العرب سريعا بالفعل ) و هذا لا يلغي أنّها تكشف جوانب بالفعل من نشوء القوميّات العربيّة (القوميّة بمعناها الأشمل , كمتخيّل لشعب كلّ دولة على حدة كذلك ) بقي أن أقول إنّ عدم معرفتي - وعدم اهتمامي بالأحرى - بتاريخ الهند الصينيّة و دول شرق آسيا عموما الحديث , جعل الكثير من التفاصيل مملّا أو يفقد دلالته الكاملة بالنسبة لي .ولكنّه كتاب مميّز للمهتمّين بمسألة القوميّات و نشوئها .- هذا أقلّ ما يُقال -

  • Hadrian
    2019-02-07 11:05

    So the big idea here is that nations are limited and sovereign entities, with power over a limited territory, but also that they are 'imagined', or socially constructed through the print media. This needs no real introduction, and most can get away with only reading the title and subtitle.Such a thesis no doubt appears quaint to some twenty years later, with electronic media surpassing dead-trees-and-pulp non-fiction. It might be easy to dismiss the whole thing as obsolete, with the wonders of technological cosmopolitanism and the communication of new international identities, but also the neo-liberal spread of companies superseding state power.It is easy to lampoon - who would fight and die for a Special Economic Administrative Zone or a Customs Union? Such new efforts might still be cloaked in the banner and rhetoric of a broader Community and Nation. There's also the matter of post-colonial nations struggling to sew together the amputated versions of past identities as well.

  • Murtaza
    2019-01-30 16:16

    One of my longstanding grievances with the public education system is its approach to geography. The jigsaw of nations most children are taught comprise the world is essentially posited as something timeless and ineffable, while in reality are they all very historically recent not to mention ephemeral and in most cases pretty arbitrary. Benedict Anderson does a great job of deconstructing nationalism (not that hard), but much more importantly rebuilding how national consciousness, "imagined communities" on a national basis," ended up becoming a phenomenon throughout the world. Through the triumph of vernacular languages over universalizing "sacred" languages (ie. Latin, Chinese script) in many countries, the impact of mass-market print capitalism in making this happen, and finally the modern conception of "empty-homogenous time," as opposed to simultaneity and a more cosmic view of the universe, created the psychological conditions where national identities could come into being - mostly starting from some linguistic basis. The experience of shared pilgrimages, whether to Mecca, an imperial metropole, or an administrative capital city, also helped craft the idea of a shared community (there is a "we" that is traveling all together to this same place"), as did the rationalization of mapping and time. The old ideas of imperial centers and amorphous boundaries of territory, not to mention sovereignty based on identity rather than place of residence, gave way to clearly defined borders that bounded communities.Anderson is at once harsh and sympathetic towards nationalism. While noting that nationalism has never had its own great thinkers (like Marxism has for instance) he also notes that for all the bloodshed and racism it has inspired it has also inspired profound acts of love and self-sacrifice. He is very, deeply sympathetic to third-world liberation movements, and one of most impressive parts of the book is actually the incredible anti-colonial history it covers. From the creation of Romanized script in Vietnam by the French ("Quoc ngu") specifically as a means of cutting Vietnam off from its intellectual history as well as the larger imagined community that took part in Sinic script, Ki Hajar Dewantara's "If I Were a Dutchman" letter, and down to Makario Sakay's heartbreakingly fair and anti-racist Philippine republic constitution (he was shortly thereafter executed by the Americans).During the colonial period education in Western ideas like proto-nationalism was allowed, which gave birth to a fiercely independence-driven intelligentsia. Ironically it was conservatives who were more in favor of reinforcing the "traditional" learning of the colonized, in order that they not develop dangerous ideas. Due to the nature of colonial economic exploitation however this intelligentsia was invariably denied the support of robust economic bourgeoisie with which to build its new vision. As such, "modernization" tended to be a top-down and not a very deep project - the ramifications of which can be felt in many places today.Another thing that was deeply interesting was the roots of Siamese (later Thai) labor policy, and the importation of a low-paid, poor, linguistically and politically isolated workforce in order to maintain local stability. While this policy is most closely associated with Saudi Arabia today, it actually has its roots in colonial policy in Singapore and Batavia. There is also a resonance with the German "gastarbeitar" program. This is yet another example (the author touches on the garish similarities between colonial and later post-colonial militaries as well) of practices and institutions being passed down from a colonial power to later "independent" countries. The Saudis didn't invent these programs out of some unique nature, they're simply copying the colonialists who essentially created their country in the first place! There are so many priceless insights in this book, from the development of novels and newspapers and how they changed people's conceptions of time (Hegel's quote about the morning newspaper replacing morning prayer for the man of the world is instructive), the parallels between colonial "solidarity among whites" and trans-European class solidarities among the nobility and the idea of past conflicts being recast as "fraternal" (ie. the American civil war) as a means of incorporating both parties into an allegedly timeless and shared community. Anderson has really filled an ocean of knowledge into a remarkably short book, albeit one that demands great concentration to get its insights. He also has a biting sense of humor and sarcasm that occasionally shines through, and which did get a laugh out of me a few times. I know many read this book as part of their schooling and as such it is very popular and well-known. I did not, but I'm deeply glad to have discovered it now.

  • Sean Chick
    2019-02-10 13:19

    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.

  • ·Karen·
    2019-02-21 13:00

    A hugely influential work, first published in 1983, which delineates the 'processes by which the nation came to be imagined, and, once imagined, modelled, adapted and transformed.' Anderson is an expert on Southeast Asia, and thus manages very successfully to avoid a purely Euro-centric view. Another extremely successful aspect of this work is the structure: each chapter ends with a succinct summary of its main ideas, a boon for those who need to take notes and revise what they've read, or indeed for anyone at all. The author argues his case cogently, emphatically, and with admirable clarity. Exemplary.

  • Frances
    2019-02-06 17:13

    Asserted as a Marxist text, Anderson attempts to revise readings of the development of nationalism in attempt to sort out the possibilities its offers for a Marxist agenda. Most importantly, Anderson defines the nation as 1) sovereign, 2) limited, and 3) fraternal. He sees the nation as a structural form of collective imagination that works to cohere through the rise of print capitalism (specifically mass-marketed news media and novels, but one could easily add photography to this list) and the institutionalization of what he calls “calendrical time.” Through these structural rituals, the nation becomes the primary tool of modernity through which the subject is able to mediate his/her relationship to his/her own finitude. Obviously this is a seminal text for anyone interested in nationalism. Anderson's argument regarding the connection between print culture and modern national identity made way for so much current scholarship on the topic, and he is easily the most oft-cited critic regarding nationalism studies. However, the most interesting part of Anderson’s argument for me isn’t necessarily his discussion of the print capitalism, which is often read as a chronological catalyst for the development of nationalism (almost like a weird sort of telos). It’s too easy, I think, to read Anderson’s proposed history exactly within the temporal linearity he critiques (but ultimately advocates), which is why I think this aspect of his argument often gets overlooked, both in the classroom and in scholarly use of the book. It seems to me that the arbitrariness of calendrical time, as a kind of cultural logic that develops in tandem with the culture of print capitalism, is exactly what makes it so manipulatable for Anderson, and thus is where he is able to locate the promise of nationalism.

  • Alaa
    2019-02-20 14:12

    اللغة المحلية، تراجع الدين، تراجع السلطة، الاستعمار، المصلحة، استخدامها كأداة، هذه الأسباب التي كانت وراء نشأة القوميات، التي يدلل لها أندرسن في كتابه الثقيل مضمونًا قليل الصفحات من خلال تحليل أوضاع دول شرق آسيا وأمريكا الأسبانية، وأوروبا بكل تأكيد.يغيب على أندرسن تحليل القومية العربية، ولم يأت على ذكرها إلا في اقتباس أنقله عنه:"وكان موارنة وأقباط تخرج كثير منهم في الجامعة الأمريكية في بيروت وجامعة القديس يوسف اليسوعية أكبر المساهمين في إحياء الفصحى وانتشار القومية العربية"، وهذا الاقتباس يوضح مشكلة القومية العربية في فهمها وقت نشأتها كفكرة مقابلة للدين والمنفذ الوحيد للتوحد خارج إطار الإسلام كون أغلب منظريها من المسيحيين العرب، ثم بدء الحرب والاتهامات بين الطرفين، في الوقت الذي لا يمكن تصور انتشار اللغة العربية دون انتشار الإسلام والعكس صحيح، بعيدًا عن كونه دينًا مقدسًا، وأقرب إلى صياغته لثقافة جماعية و وعي مشترك.توقفت عن قراءة الكتاب بشكل مركز في منتصفه، بسبب الملل الرهيب الذي أصابني منذ بدايته ولم أكن لأكلمه لولا أنني أخاف أن أكون الغبية الوحيدة وقد أجمع كثيرون أنه كتاب رهيب، فكيف تجتمع الأمة على ضلالة، والسبب الثاني هو مقدمة عزمي بشارة الوافية للكتاب والعارضة لفكرة القومية والأمة في نظرته الحديثة لها، لذا يمكنكم الاكتفاء بقراءة مراجعات للكتاب أومشاهدة ملخصات يوتيوبية عنه.

  • Roy Lotz
    2019-02-01 11:54

    Boy, am I glad to have finally read this. Imagined Communities is the force behind much of the scholarship in the social sciences I find most interesting. Seeing someone’s name so often in brackets (Anderson, 1983) makes you curious, and Anderson does not disappoint.For me, this is history at its most interesting—incisive, global in scope, entertaining, and not overladen with facts. Staying entirely within the purview and methodology of the discipline of history (unlike, say, Guns, Germs, and Steel), Anderson formulates a theory that explains much of the modern world. While the style is perhaps too stodgy for the general reader, the book is mostly free of academic nonspeak and ugly neologisms. Anderson manages to write plain English, use traditional methods, and reach a fascinating conclusion. You’d be surprised how rarely this happens.

  • Hamad
    2019-02-12 16:59

    This is a very important, but difficult read. Even though the author mentions that he did not want to introduce any academic lingo, it is still difficult to comprehend at times, and the academic structure is obvious. It will truly make you think about history in a novel way once you do understand what is being described. However, the chapter on the Map, Census and Museum was the hardest to comprehend. Of course, the fact that so many themes in the book were hard to understand only goes to show how different our frame of reference is now that we are products of these 'imagined communities' rather than outsiders looking in. All in all, it was a worthwhile read, even though a second read would be inevitable.

  • Hosam Diab
    2019-01-21 15:54

    هذا الكتاب استغرق مني وقتا لطويلا لقراءته، يتجاوز الشهر بقليل.لم تكن صعوبة الكتاب هي سبب تأخير القراءة. ربما لأنني تعرفت إلى لعبة سباق السيارات "إسفلت 8"، فشغلني هذا عنه، أو لأن كل فكرة -رغم بساطة عرضها- تحتاج إلى وقت طويل لهضمها واستيعابها.بلغت شهرة الكتاب الآفاق، وصار مقررا جامعيا في العديد من الجامعات حول العالم، لذلك أي حديث حول أهمية الكتاب لن تكون مناسبة.أشير فقط إلى بعض النقاط التي استوقفتني أثناء القراءة:1- الكتاب ليس نظريا بالمرة، أي رغم أنه يتبنى مفهوما جديدا لأساس القومية وانتشارها، إلا أن المؤلف اتجه بأغلب ثقله إلى حقل التاريخ لإبراز نظريته ودعمها بأمثلة تاريخية ووقائع محددة.2- ورغم الاهتمام بالتاريخ، إلا أن الكتاب تجاهل منطقة الشرق الأوسط تقريبا. أي أن الكتاب يفتح مجالا واسعا للباحثين كي يختبروا هذه النظرية على المجتمعات العربية، وخاصة مصر. إن الحدود الإدارية لمصر في أضيق توسعاتها كانت تقريبا مثل الحدود الحالية، أي أنه لو تجاهلنا فترات التوسع المصري على حساب الأراضي المجاورة، فإن معظم الأسر الفرعونية كانت لها سيطرة على سيناء والواحات الغربية والوجه القبلي والبحري.إن هذه القومية القديمة، التي يعاد تشكيلها حاليا بناء على أوهام تاريخية متراكمة، تضيف أنموذجا شديد الجدة والغرابة، واستثناء شاذا لقاعدة "أندرسن". إن اتكاء القومية المصرية على تاريخها -رغم الانقطاع المعرفي عنها- والمحافظة على بعض العادات الفرعونية القديمة وتميز اللهجة المصرية عن بقية الألسن العربية، يجعل الباحث في محل مقاربة ومقارنة لطبيعة هذه القومية، وربما يفسر سبب التضخم الذاتي في نفسية المصريين.3- أشار المؤلف إلى أن القومية الشعبية تختلف عن نظيرتها الرسمية الملكية، حيث قرنت هذه الأخيرة قوميتها بالعنصرية، لكن القومية عامة سر نجاحها واستنساخها هو ببساطة أنها مبنية على نزعات إيمانية لدى الفرد بضرورة التضحية وحب الجماعة والولاء للوطن. لكن ما فات المؤلف ذكره، أن القومية بنسختها الشعبية تتقاطع أحيانا مع العنصرية، بل إن الطبقات الوسطى والأقل من المتوسطة مارست نسخا من العنصرية ضد الأقليات بحجة الوصول إلى نسخة "نظيفة" و"خالية من التشوهات" لقوميتها الخاصة.إن تحليل برنارد شو -رغم افتقاره إلى أي أسس نظرية- حول أن النظام الفاشي الإيطالي اتكأ في سلطانه على طموح وتطرفات الطبقات الشعبية، هو الأقرب في نظري إلى الصحة. إن القومية -مثلها مثل بقية أشكال الإيمان الغيبي- يمكنها أن تنقلب إلى خطر حقيقي على الإنسانية بمفهومها الواسع.4- يُفضل قراءة هذا الكتاب مرة أخرى، مباشرة أو بعد مدة من القراءة الأولى. إن القراءة الأولى تعد بمثابة تصفح، لكن الكتاب يحتاج من القارئ الخبير إلى دراسة متأنية واعية كي يستطيع أن يركز ويلخص ويعيد تحرير أبرز فقرات الكتاب، التي تتوه وسط التحليل التاريخي البارز.ولعشاق النسخ النظيفة والمحافظة على الكتاب من الأحبار والأوراق اللاصقة. لن يكون هذا الكتاب ملائما لذلك. صدقا، اجعل لنفسك على الأقل "نوتة" بجوار الكتاب، فأي قارئ سيحتاج إلى تدوين بعض ملاحظاته.5- يُنصح بقراءة مقدمة "عزمي بشارة" بعد قراءة متن الكتاب وليس قبله. إن هذه المقدمة الواعية تشتبك مع الكتاب وتفند بعض ملاحظاته وتعقب عليه. وهذا يجعل المقدمة مشوشة للقارئ الذي يتعرف على الكتاب للمرة الأولى، بالإضافة إلى أنه يخلق تحيزات خلال القراءة. وكان بالأحرى أن تكون هذه المقدمة تذييلا للكتاب في النهاية.بالمناسبة، لا يمكن إخفاء أن بشارة نفسه قدم النسخة العبرية من الكتاب، وأنه كفلسطيني يحمل الجنسية الإسرائيلية ومهتم بالقومية العربية، يحمل هذا الكتاب قضية شخصية بالنسبة إليه.6- يرى المؤلف أن الكتاب يساري أكثر من اللازم لليبراليين، وليبرالي أكثر من اللازم لليساريين. لكن أي عين فاحصة محايدة ستجد أن الكتاب يميل إلى اليسار أكثر. ولا عجب أن كثيرا من أنصار اليسار الديمقراطي في مصر ممن أعرفهم قرأوا الكتاب أو احتفظوا بنسخة منه على أجهزتهم أو في مكتباتهم. هذا الكتاب يشتبك مع المقولات اليسارية مثل أن الماركسيين ليسوا قوميين، لكنه خارج من رحم اليسار ومن نقاشات ذات دلالة سبقت عليه، ودرجها المؤلف في متن الكتاب لا في هوامشه فقط.7- الإسلاميون الذين يقرأون الكتاب بعين تبحث عن تحليل واعي لكيفية نشوء القومية في بلادهم، أو نقض حالة الحداثة التي تجلت مظاهرها في القومية، وذلك لإثبات العودة إلى المربع الأول وأن الدولة الإسلامية يمكن أن ترجع مجددا لتخلف الدولة القومية. صدقا هذا الكتاب لن يعصمكم من أسئلتكم، بل ربما يكون خيبة أمل. إن السؤال الذي لم يجب عنه الباحثون الإسلاميون هو، وبفرض إمكانية رجوع الدولة الإسلامية، فكيف يمكنها أن تتمايز عن ماهيات ومؤطرات الدولة القومية؟ أي أنها ستعيد إنتاج الدولة القومية مرة أخرى لكن بغطاء إسلامي ظاهري.إن المشروع الإسلامي، باعتباره صورة أشد قبحا وتطرفا من الحداثة، سيدين بالكثير للمجموعة التي تستطيع أن تصل لإجابة هذا السؤال المستغلق. 8- للمقيمين في مصر، اشتروا هذا الكتاب من "الشبكة العربية للأبحاث والنشر" في شارع عبد الخالق ثروت بوسط البلد. فعليه خصم هناك يصل إلى 40%، وعلى كل إصدارات المركز العربي للأبحاث في الواقع.

  • Mohammed Asiri
    2019-02-04 16:08

    بدأت في قراءة هذا الكتاب وفي ذهني أنه يبحث في سؤال كيف يتم تخيل المجتمعات، أي أنه بحث في الصورة النمطية للشعوب كما درسها إدوارد سعيد وانطوني موريسون وفرانز فانون أو تسري هناء في الشرق المتخيل او محمد أفاية في الغرب المتخيل.إلا انني تفاجأت ويا لجمال المفاجأة أنه بحث في نشأة فكرة القومية، ولا شك أن الصورة النمطية مبحث مهم في فكرة نشاة القومية، لأن الصور النمطية لا تقوم على تصوير الآخر المختلف، بل تقوم حتى على تصوير الذات أيضافكرة الكتاب الرئيسية هي أن هناك روابط متخيلة (وليست خيالية) تربط بين أفرادها تؤدي بدورها إلى نشأة القومية أو الأمة أو الوطنية أو غيرها من المصطلحات الإشكاليةتصدرت الطبعة مقدمة ضافية عميقة للدكتور عزمي بشارة تجاوزت الثلاثين صفحة ملخصا أهم ما جاء في الكتاب مع بعض الملحوظات التي رصدهاهنا بعض المختارات التي انتقيتها من المقدمة غالبا ومن فصل العنصرية والوطنية * الجماعات المتخيلة تنحسر بانحسار روابطها* القومية تقوم على محددات لغوية، أيديولوجية (دينية، سياسية، اقتصادية) الدين، القبيلة* من اهم المفكرين في نظرية القومية، البريطاني هيوستون واطسون، نوم نايرون مؤلف كتاب تفكك بريطانيا)* الأمة جماعة سياسية متخيلة ذات حدود وسيادة* انتماء الفرد يعتبر مكون أساسي في شخصيته * الانتماء يقوم على المحبة لا المصلحة* فكرة القومية يمكن استخدامها للتجييش والحشد* لا يضحي الانسان من اجل تعاقد بل من اجل انتماء)* الجماعات المتخيلة ليست خيالية، هو تخيل رابط يربط بيني وبين غيري ممن انتمي لهم* الدين عني بالإجابة عن أسئلة المعنى في حين فشلت الأيديولجيات الوضعية في الإجابة عليا * “القومية نشأت مع العلمنة وانحسار عملية التدين” عزمي بشارة * الشروط التاريخية التي أنشات القومية هي ١-انحسار اللغة، ٢-الدين ، ٣- تغير مفهوم الزمن وأضاف إليه عزمي بشارة تفكك الجماعة المحلية مثل القبيلة وأهل القرية* “ولم يكن ممكنا تخيل انتشار الإصلاح الديني من دون الطباعة” عزمي بشارة يتحدث عن حركة مارتن لوثر كنج الإصلاحية * ارتباط العربية بالمقدس جعل الناس يتخيلون تدين كل متحدث بالعربية * تمت أمركة الكرسماس ورأس السنة. عزمي بشارة * القومية تقوم على إشراك الطبقات الدنيا ولذا ثار عليها ملاك العبيد في أمريكا* الحرب الأهلية في أمريكا لم تكن داخل الأمة الأمريكية لذا عزمي بشارة يتحفظ على تسميتها أهلية* كان اسم الفلبين الأرخبيل ولكن ملك أسبانيا فيليب الثاني غيرها * تصنيف الناس بموجب أعراقهم جاءت من قبل المستعمر * “المنهج من دون قيم وجماعة تؤمن بهذه القيم وينتمي إليها الناس لا يصلح لتأسيس حركة تسعى لتحسين المجتمع ناهيك عن السعي لعالم أفضل” عزمي بشارة * القومية تفكر بلغة التاريخ (التغيير) العنصرية تفكر بلغة الطبيعة (الثبات)* “لقد بدأت العنصرية من التسويغ الطبيعي النظري أو العلمي للسلالات الحاكمة والعائلات الاستقراطية وانتقلت إلى تبرير طبيعي علمي لتفوق السلالات العرقية والإثنية واللغوية”* “ما من شيء يربطنا بالموتى عاطفيا مثل اللغة” أندرسن بندكنت

  • Mohamed
    2019-02-02 17:16

    اسم الكتاب رائع مرهق رغم صغر عدد صفحاته مقدمة لعزمى بشاره محتاجة 3 فنجاين من القهوة ديكتاب لوحدها نيجي للكتاب الاصلي اتكلم عن الحواجز اللي تجاوزتهم البشرية علشان توصل للشكل القوميحاجز الدولة الدينية و الدولة السلالية اخيراً مفهوم وتصور الزمن بعد كده الكاتب بينتقل لتفسير العوامل اعظم جزء الخاص باللغة و ازي اللغات بتلعب دور في وهم القومية و دور راس المال المطبوع الصحافة و الكتب الدولة عبارة عن وهم في دمغنا نتيجة معرفتنا ان في مجموعة من البشر مشتركين معنا في اللغة و الارضالكتاب مرهق في مصطلحات غريبة جداًَ لولاه جوجل مكنتش فهمت نصه بالاساس الكتاب قريته بعد ما قريت عنه في كل رجال الباشا تجربة لذيذة تم بحمد الله علي الهامش الببلاوي استقال الهم بيزيد و المحبوسين شكلهم مطولين

  • Chayuth
    2019-02-18 18:03

    An indispensable canonical book for student of nationalism.

  • David
    2019-02-17 10:59

    Since there has been a good deal of chattering about nationalism of late, it seemed a good time to finally examine this neglected long-term resident on my bookshelves. It is a tough slog through impenetrable Marxist jargon and apparent inside jokes. Also, there are enough dense and eye-strain-inducing footnotes in my paperback copy to send David Foster Wallace weeping to his thesaurus collection. And, in addition to untranslated French and German, there is, I am not making this up, untranslated Indonesian. On the positive side, it is short.My copy also featured footnotes and commentary by that brainy chick I tricked into marrying me. They allowed me to achieve an understanding which I probably would not have achieved on my own. (A Germanist, she also explained what “hausmacht” and other bits of untranslated German in the text meant.) If you have not had the foresight to be in a long-term relationship with a Germanist who has read and selectively highlighted this volume, I suggest that you refine your Tinder profile to remedy your lack of foresight before starting this book on your own.It was a frequent experience to come to an end of a paragraph and realized I had retained nothing of what I had just read. I doubted my ability to understand the book as a whole. I made regular trips to the brainy chick to check my comprehension. She said I was understanding it. I think she was sincere, but she might have been just trying to get me to go away. Anyway, here's what I got out of it.The word “reflections” in the titles is a clue that the book is a series of (at best) loosely-connected ideas the author has had about nationalism.Think of the first part of this book as the first draft of a cookbook for nations. The author implies that no one before now has understood properly how to make a nation from scratch, and the previous explanations are, almost universally, balderdash. I'll try not to beat the “cookbook” metaphor to death, but the author as cook doesn't supply the exact measurements of various ingredients necessary to make a nation. Nor does the author claim that the ingredients listed are all the ingredients necessary to bake a nation. Instead, he notices that successfully launched nations have had ingredients A, B, and C, and unsuccessful attempts have lacked these ingredients. One ingredient, if I understand correctly, is the largely unintentional creation of a locally-born set of civil servants, native in birth to the land they live but steeped for a long period in the culture of the occupying colonial power. Furthermore, this set of civil servants must be allowed to receive education in the capital of the colonial power but then routinely denied the opportunity to rise high enough to work and hold a position of power in that capital. Another ingredient is the appearance of “print-capitalists”, whose products in the local vernacular may include newspapers and books as we understand them today, but also could include pamphlets and broadsheets of the type not really seen in most of the world anymore. While explaining this book to me recently, above-referenced brainy chick casually threw off the observation that the formulation that different newspapers lead to different nations, may, if true, be a disturbing prediction for our times. We have just come out of a long period where the number of newspaper, television, and other mass media outlets were limited, first by technological constraints and then perhaps artificially. Of course, there was some diversity, and not everybody had the same opinion, but compared to what was before, what is now, and (perhaps) what is to come, it was a period of comparative harmony borne of everyone agreeing on certain basic assumptions. Now that anyone with a computer terminal can generate a story and call it news, we may be headed toward a period of birthing new nations again. Such births are rarely pretty.In any event, given these (and maybe other) ingredients, then, the sense of nationhood appears. The outward appearance of a nation, meaning, lines on a map that some indifferent cartographer made decades or centuries ago based on a piece of parchment signed by an ignorant King, are not important. The random place where a boatload of adventurers made landfall long before the King laid pen to paper are not important. If the adventurers had landed further north or south, or if the cartographer's pencil had drawn a slightly different line, the results would have been the different only in insignificant detail. (I think that's the message I was supposed to get.)As a result, we have Chileans, Americans, Ghanians, Indonesians, and others living, declaring allegiance and pride, and sometimes dying for arbitrary lines generated largely by accident, long ago. On one side, the group with which someone shares a vital bond. Many, perhaps most, of members of this group believe their group exceptional, and often that a greater power than themselves guided them and their co-nationals to this spot, making it desirable and worthy of protection.Outside are people who are at least apathetic and perhaps even downright hostile, the national narrative goes. Depending on circumstance, the malevolence of outsiders can be attributed to envy, or their allegiance to darker powers, either terrestrial or not. An interesting opinion expressed in this book is that nationalism is not racism, or maybe not racist. The argument, I think, goes like this: Nazis were NOT nationalist because they were not prepared to see, most visibly, Jews as a member of their nation, even the German Jews who were enthusiastic about Germany and its culture, even to the point of changing their religion. On the other hand, says Anderson, real nationalists are willing to admit any and all, regardless of race, who will sincerely believe in the superiority of their nation, because they (the nationalists) are simply champions of a nation. There are certainly cases where this is true, but there are also enough counter-examples of groups excluded by self-proclaimed nationalists by virtue of different appearance or background to draw this assertion into question. However, probably any debate on this topic will degenerate into an argument about definitions (that is, of “nationalism” and “nationalist”). Another different argument might result if you think that requiring others to admire you and your group to get the benefits of inclusion is a mind-set that co-occurs frequently with racism. Another contention (if I understand correctly) which is much more difficult to dispute in these days: attempts to get people to believe in, defend, and die for institutions (like the European Union, NATO, and the UN) which were not created with the aid of the above-mentioned ingredients, will collapse in the face of the resolution and combativeness routinely generated by strong love of nation. Sometimes it feels like, if you read this book and do not agree with author's idiosyncratic interpretations, you are likely to be greeted with the adolescent-like “Well, you would think that, wouldn't you?”, which is the consistent last refuge of theorists who have nowhere to hide. Example: near the end of the book, the author notes that, frequently, colonial-era drawings (and other representations) of recently-excavated ruins (like Angkor) are often lacking in human figures. This, says the author, is an implied put-down of the present inhabitants of the land by the colonial image-makers, carrying the message that you, present-day inhabitants of the land, are not capable of such magnificence. This is of course possible. But also possible, and more likely in my sight, is that the makers of illustrations felt they had, on the basis of excavations, enough evidence to make a representation of what the building in question looked like at the height of its magnificence, but did NOT have enough evidence to make a representation of the characteristic skin color, clothing, and activity of the people who lived and worked there. You see? NOT evil hegemons, simply people interested in accuracy. It's possible, right? Being, on some odd level, an incurable optimist, I hope that everything I read (or even see or hear) will somehow eventually be something practical, something useful. In this case, I hope that understanding this book somehow allow me (or perhaps a more charming person with better persuasive skills) to convince a nationalist that the narrative of history could be different than he/she has imagined up to now. Also, the nationalist will finally understand that the soil for which he/she is prepared to erect walls and limit liberty is an accident of history. A more peaceful and inclusive mindset by the nationalist would be the result, in my dream.However, even my imaginary conversations are failures. I imagine that, even in the unlikely event that I were to convince the nationalist that Anderson's thesis were a truer reading of history, the nationalist could easily insist that all of it, the print-capitalists, the native-born civil servants, the King's arbitrary lines, are all evidence of God's hand at work on behalf of his favorite nation. It would be, they might say, the intention of divine power to bring the nationalists and their allies where they are now, i.e., threatening the defenseless in the name of liberty.

  • ماهرعبد الرحمن
    2019-01-24 11:16

    كنت قد كتبت هذا التعليق في 2010، وكنت وقتها اتعمد كتابة تعليقات لا ريفيوهات حتى أتحاشي إن الناس تعمل لايك.. وكنت وقتها أظن أنه ليس هو الموضوع عمل لايك، بل القراءة وتبادل القراءة وفقط.. ولأن دائرة الأصدقاء وقتها كانت محدودة، فكنا نتبادل الأفكار وعروض الكتب وترشيحات القراءة.. كنت أريد أن يكون الأمر فقط على هذا النحو، بدون لايكات.. لكني وجدت أن بعض التعليقات قد ضاعت أو تم مسحها. وأيضا، بعد اتساع دائرة الأصدقاء و اتساع عدد مستخدمي الموقع نفسه وانتشاره.. رأيت أن زرار اللايك اللعين (أينما وُجد) هذا لن يكون مضرا، إن وقع، وقد يكون هو نفسه وسيلة مضافة للنشر الذي أقوم به؛ بالظهور المتعدد في النيوز فيد.. وكمستخدم وسط آلاف المستخدمين.النسخة التي أكتب عنها هي النسخة الصادرة عن المشروع القومي للترجمة، بالترجمة المعفنة للأستاذ محمد الشرقاوي. إليكم هذه الفكرة:البعض مازال يؤمن بأفلاطون، هل تعرفون الفكرة التى تقول إن الإنسان عندما يجد من يحبه فهو-فى الحقيقة- يجد نصفه الآخر؛ ومن ثم فهؤلا"الأفلاطونيين"وهم عادة،أيضا،متوهمى إمتلاك الحقيقة المطلقة، يتحدثون فى الحب عن كائن واحد، كائن يصبح أكثر رقيا وكمالا؛ أو بعبارة أخرى، كائن فوق إنسانى.الإنسان هو ذلك الكائن الذى يسعى إلى الكمال.(فى هذا المثال)، ويصل إليه حين يجد شخصا آخر يكمل له هذا النقص..إننا ناقصين إلى أن نجد من يعطينا الكمال،المرأة،أو/الرجل،الآلهة،شهادة الثانوية العامة(..)ويمكننا أن نضيف-للتعليق على كتاب بندكت أندرسون؛الجماعات المتخيّلة-القومية.كيف نشأت فكرة الدولة القومية؟ وما هى آليات عملها؟ كيف تستعمر الدولة الحديثة مواطنها، وتجعله يتخيل نفسه جزء صغير من كل أكبر،ويصل به هذا التخيل إلى الحد الذى قد يضحى فيه بنفسه من أجل هذا المتخيل.إن القومية على كل حال مصطلح حديث نسبيا، ظهر فى القرن الثامن عشر؛أعنى أنه مفهوم له تاريخ على كل حال.إن الضمير"نحن"هو مجرد أسطورة تمت صناعتها بإستخدام أدوات معينة(فى مثال الدولة:المتحف/الخريطة/النصب التذكارى/قبر الجندى المجهول/الفرق القومية/الجريدة، بل والحكايات التى نشترك فى متابعتها معا).إن تفكيك رواسب التعلق بداخلنا يحتاج فقط لبعض التأمل

  • محمود النويشي
    2019-01-23 13:04

    الانتشار الواسع للكتاب عالميا وترجمته للكثير من اللغات أمر يدل على أن هذا الموضوع ( القومية ) ما زال يحتاج إلى الداراسة من قبل المفكرين ، ويدل على أن نهم المعرفة حول الأمر كبير ، وهو أمر يستحقفى مقدمة الكتاب تقديم عربى يعتبر كتابا مستقلا مميزا لا يمكن تجاهله كجزء نم المؤلفيشرح المترجم سبب تسمية الكتاب بالجاماعت المتخيلة يتحدث عن الجماعات الإثنية وكيف تنشأ عنها القومياتيناقش الكتاب قضية القومية وما اذا كانت ظاهرة أم أيدولوجيايتحدث الكتاب فى قسط كبير منه عن اللغة ودورها فى منشأ القوميات وتدعيمها وتقويتها واستخدام القوميين لها وذكر أثلة أوروبية لها كمثل فعل أتاتروك عقب إلغاء الخلافةيتحدث عن خوسيه ريزال أبو القومية الفلبينية وكيف تشكلت هذه القومية كمثاليركز الكتاب على تأسيس القوميات فى أوروبا تحديدا وهو أمر لن يروى عطش الإسلاميين والعرب والذين تختص تجربتهم بالإمبيرياليات التى قسمت دولهم وزرعت فيها قضايا القومية كأيدلوجيا ، حيث لم تنشأ القوميات فى الشرق الأوسط كصيرورة لأحداث معينة متوالية !يتحدث الكتاب عن دور الكتب والنشر لإزكاء الروح القومية وكثيرا ما يكرر كلمة ( رأسمالية الطباعة ) يتحدث الكتاب عن أولئك الذى زرعوا الأفكار العنصرية داخل البلدان التى شاءوا أن يزروعوا فيها قوميات لتفتيتهاالكتاب جيد بشكل عام وان كان مملا فى بعض التفصيلات بسبب تفرده بدراسة الحالة الأوروبية

  • Ross
    2019-02-09 11:57

    Definitely an 'essential read', but did his style have to be so annoying? "Unjungled," Benedict? "Museumized?" Those aren't words. Not cute, either. Stop with the scare quotes, too, jeez. And would you translate your goddamn lengthy French quotations??? GOD.

  • Missy J
    2019-02-11 18:10

    On December 13, 2015, Indonesia expert and history scholar Benedict Anderson passed away in Malang (Indonesia). A lot of obituaries in his honor appeared in traditional press and online media. When I read his life story, I was very impressed by his study of Indonesia (esp. regarding the 1965 incident, which led to him being banned from entering Indonesia for over 20 years) and his abilities to speak so many languages! His best-known work is Imagined Communities, where he discusses the origins of nationalism and how they were shaped differently in the New World, Old World and Third World. For an academic book, his language was surprisingly very easy to understand (not dry!) and sometimes even humorous. For this review, I decided to add my notes for each of the eleven chapters:Chapter 1: IntroductionChapter 2: Cultural RootsMy favorite chapter! Written beautifully. Anderson traces the origins of nationalism to three important cultural phenomena; religious community (& the language/script of the Truth), dynastic realm and the apprehension of time (most of which deals with death and to certain extent makes an individual question his existence). Chapter 3: The Origins of National ConsciousnessThis chapter highlight the importance of "print-capitalism" in forming imagined communities. Simultaneously many vernacular dialects were wiped out by the introduction of print-capitalism.Chapter 4: Creole PioneersA very interesting observation by Anderson, that nationalism began in the New World instead of the Old World! The Europeans born and raised in America ("Creoles") felt a deep connection with the land and due to the arduous travelling conditions back then, many have never even been to their "European motherland." At the same time, creoles were looked down upon by the Europeans, which only reinforced their "us vs them" consciousness. Parallel to Europe, they wanted their own country. Chapter 5: Old Languages, New ModelsThis chapter focuses on the Old World vernacular languages that started to shape nations. When people think about history, it is very difficult to pinpoint the beginning, thus language provides an infinite continuity to the starting point, which can never be traced back. I also enjoyed Anderson's descriptions how various European aristocrats used to speak different languages compared to the lower class population (e.g. Dutch aristocrats spoke French, Russian czars spoke German...). Chapter 6: Official Nationalism and ImperialismChapter 7: The Last WaveMainly about linguistic conformity attempt to enforce the imagined community, but Anderson also uses the example of Switzerland to highlight a different type of nation-building.Chapter 8: Patriotism & RacismAnderson makes a distinction between patriotism and pure racism, also talks about how strangers are able to become a national of a nation (due to sentiments), but which may lead to varying degrees of racism.Chapter 9: The Angel of HistoryShort chapter on the Vietnam-Cambodia-China war and Marxism and how nationalism fits or doesn't fit in. Chapter 10: Census, Map, MuseumVery interesting chapter on three specific institutions that are used to enforce the imagined communities upon the masses through classification and control. Census is a systematic quantification of the population to proclaim the state domain. Maps visually depict the imagined communities, as well as to classify the border of colonial property. I very much appreciate Anderson's example of West Papua, that is culturally significantly different from the "Malay/Javanese" side of the nation. However, due to the maps and the Dutch imperial concept of the East Indies, Indonesian nationalists are adamant that West Papua belongs to Indonesia. Finally, the museums establish the official narratives and also includes the commercialization aspects.Chapter 11: Memory & ForgettingChange also brings about some elements of amnesia, which results in a certain "narrative." I'm always interested to understand how these narratives came to be, which essentially means which memories were retained.Finally, while reading this book, I kept wondering how today's technology and social media have formed even more peculiar imagined communities. Are we now living in two realities?Rest in Peace Pak Benedict Anderson

  • janet
    2019-02-12 18:12

    What makes this text well worth reading are his intriguing examples and the methodical way he develops his highly original yet relatively straight forward argument. What I found particularly useful were his marxist explanation for how print capital helped create conditions for a nation as an imagined community, his exposition of the fact that nationalism developed in the Americas before Europe, and the wonderful way he shows how colonial administration and education sowed the seeds of rebellion and left the possibility of an imagined community and theory needed to gain independence for colonized spaces. I also appreciate the fact that he gave numerous examples of the development of modern states that are Asian, many SE Asian. An example that is important to me is of the French creation of quoc ngu - the latinate alphabetic transcription system developed in Vietnam in lieu of the ideograph system they had been using actually led to a greater degree of unity throughout diverse areas of what was to become Vietnam which assisted the Viet Minh in defeating France along with the ideas of the French Revolution. He mentions the use of radio as an even more powerful way of creating community but doesn’t discuss it fully - one can easily guess what he wold say. Anderson’s work sets the stage for further analysis of the process of decolonization for states born out of colonies. His work also suggests projects looking at the formation of nation and difficulties in Africa - complicated by horrible divisions of states out of numerous ethnic areas by the colonizers. His example of the Japanese translation using Japanese examples was a really cool suggestion for the direction projects that his book might spawn. Also, his work caused me to reflect on the fate of nations that were former colonies that were based on exploitation rather than settlement such as Guiana with populations created from slavery and indenture. Forming an imagined community seems to be a huge challenge with this different narrative than what he presented here. He suggests the choice of language doesn’t matter and I am not convinced of this entirely either.

  • Christopher
    2019-02-11 15:21

    As the original text on nationalism as an idea, you would think that this would be a better read. Indeed, the plethora of translations that the author catalogs in the Afterword written for this expanded edition, you would think it would be best thing on nationalism ever. And while it does have a few great ideas, it is a barely developed, almost completely nonsensical book. The first few chapters start out alright as he identifies native languages, bueracratic language requirements, and revolution in public education in the wake of the Reformation as key to the development of nationalism first in Europe then in the Americas. But after that, things begin to break down completely. The author can never sustain a single thought long enough to develop it, bouncing around the globe and the globe of ideas like a ball in a racquetball court, only a ball in a racquetball court would make a loud THUD! to let you know you hit the wall. After the first few chapters, Mr. Anderson can't hit anything. Aside from some good, but half-baked, ideas, I would suggest finding another book to read if you are interested in the development of nationalism as an idea.

  • Andrew
    2019-01-31 10:55

    A very impressive work on both a research and theoretical level. The syntheses that Anderson generates manage to cut through hundreds of years of history and thousands of miles of geography to create a cohesive, cogent approach that, fairly uniquely among works of this sort, manages to privilege neither time nor space. Well done.

  • Dan
    2019-02-19 10:55

    Argues clearly and poetically that identities are constructed through shared media. Examines how newspapers and other media create a shared identity with people never met.Pros: Excellent writing, clear argument, and historical evidence (almost exclusively) from the Spanish-speaking world.

  • Hammam Nimrawi
    2019-02-07 19:10

    إن الكتابة التي تقول عن أفكار مهمة وذكية بلغة مباشرة وسهلة، بلا تقعر أو تذاك أو بهرجة لغوية، وتصيب هذه الأفكار كما يجب، من دون تقصير أو تسطيح، لكفيلة بعدل مزاجي لأيام. كتاب ممتاز.

  • Domhnall
    2019-02-14 15:17

    After making an effort to summarise this book, I am not convinced that I can defend all of its arguments, which on balance must reflect on me rather than the book. Apart from anything else, I am not prepared to put in the time; I write a review quickly when I finish a book only to convey my immediate impression. It is nicely written, very well organised and very credible. I suspect, though, that it presents its arguments in a form that requires a lot of elaboration before they will convince a sceptic. For example,it asserts that "Where racism developed outside Europe in the nineteenth century, it was always associated with European domination," [p186] and this opinion has been expressed by other writers (for example, in the autobiography of Malcolm X which I have read and reviewed only recently), but I find his supporting arguments too elusive to really pin them down and make use of them. To phrase this differently, the more persuaded I am the more I need to understand and pin down the supporting arguments and evidence, and I just need more than I am given here. It is not enough for him to persaude me - I need the materials for me to persuade someone else. I take from this book an appreciation that nationalism is a modern construction, which serves important functions, makes use of tangible objects - language, culture, religion, geography, history - and which appeals very strongly to many people, but remains elusive. Just because nationalism can appeal to facts, just because these are "real", does not make it any less imaginary. The facts it relies on - such as maps, census data, museums, written records - have often been manufactured or at least carefully selected and presented to serve a political purpose. We can imagine things differently and should not, I think, be so easily persuaded. "The more the ancient dynastic state is naturalized, the more its antique finery can be wrapped around revolutionary shoulders." [p200]" As observed earlier, the major states of nineteenth-century Europe were vast polyglot polities, of which the boundaries almost never coincided with language-communities. Most of their literate members had inherited from mediaeval times the habit of thinking of certain languages – if no longer Latin, then French, English, Spanish or German – as languages of civilization. Rich eighteenth-century Dutch burghers were proud to speak only French at home; German was the language of cultivation in much of the western Czarist empire, no less than in ‘Czech’ Bohemia. Until late in the eighteenth century no one thought of these languages as belonging to any territorially defined group. But soon thereafter, for reasons sketched out in Chapter 3, ‘uncivilized’ vernaculars began to function politically in the same way as the Atlantic Ocean had earlier done: i.e. to ‘separate’ subjected national communities off from ancient dynastic realms. And since in the vanguard of most European popular nationalist movements were literate people often unaccustomed to using these vernaculars, this anomaly needed explanation. None seemed better than ‘sleep,’ for it permitted those intelligentsias and bourgeoisies who were becoming conscious of themselves as Czechs, Hungarians, or Finns to figure their study of Czech, Magyar, or Finnish languages, folklores, and musics as ‘rediscovering’ something deep-down always known. (Furthermore, once one starts thinking about nationality in terms of continuity, few things seem as historically deep-rooted as languages, for which no dated origins can ever be given.)" p239"It is an astonishing sign of the depth of Eurocentrism that so many European scholars persist, in the face of all the evidence, in regarding nationalism as a European invention." Footnote, page 251"Spanish America ... fought over many bloody years for multiple republican independences, while sharing language and religion with imperial Spain – long before Magyars, Czechs, Norwegians, Scots, and Italians got into the act."p258"It allowed me to think about the early USA, in the Pan-American context, as just another creole-led revolutionary state, and furthermore in some respects more reactionary than its Southern sisters. (Unlike Washington, the Liberator put a step-by-step end to slavery, and unlike Jefferson, San Martín did not speak of the original inhabitants of his country as savages, but invited them to become Peruvians)." [p258]Of the Angel of History, Walter Benjamin wrote that "His face is turned towards the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistably propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress." [p201]

  • Miglė
    2019-02-19 11:18

    Patraukliu stiliumi parašyta knyga apie nacionalizmo ir apskritai tautos idėjos atsiradimą. --Tais klausimais, kur kažką jau truputį žinojau, atrodė, kad autorius labai supaprastina dalykus. Tais klausimais, kuriais nieko nežinojau, atrodė, pateikia nuostabių įžvalgų. Bet pirmoji sąlyga šiek tiek trukdė žavėtis antrąja. Kita vertus, imant tokią plačią temą apibendrinimų ir supaprastinimų neišvengsi, o idėja apie tautos sąvokos kūrimąsi įdomi.

  • Moataz
    2019-02-02 18:16

    كتاب يستحق شهرته، بما يضيفه من تحليل ومعلومات في سبيل فهم ظاهرة القومية..يبدأ الكتاب بمقدمة رائعة لعزمي بشارة، تعتبر كتاب منفصل إذا جاز التعبير، فيها يثني عليه، ثم ينعطف إلى نقد قوي لبعض ما ورد في الكتاب، ويتركز في أمرين، قصور الكتاب في تناول الظاهرة عربياً، وأيضاً عدم تفرقته بوضوح بين الإيديولوجيا القومية والقومية.متن الكتاب يُستهل بنقد لكلا التصورين الرائجين عن القومية، اليساري الذي يراها آفة العصر الحديث، والقومي الذي يزعم أنها موغلة في القدم.. ففي هذا الصدد يبرهن بندكت أندرسون على أن الإنتماء قديم بدليل الإنتماء الديني، وما وفره الحجيج من دعم الشعور بالإنتماء إلى جماعة دينة متخيلة واحدة، إذن فهي ليست بالأمر الجديد كل الجدة، رغم ذلك ليست ظاهرة موحلة في القدم، فالإنتماء الديني عندما إنسحب من العالم الغربي ورثت القومية عبء التفسير والمعنى، فشكلت الجانب الإيماني داخل بنية المجتمع العلماني الحديث، ثم إنتقلت بفعل القرصنة لظاهرة عالمية.يشرع بعد ذلك أندرسون في شرح وتوضيح لكيفية حدوث ذلك، مع الدفع بعدد هائل للبراهين والدلائل.. ويلخص الأسباب في، دور الرأسمالية الطباعية في صهر اللغات المحلية في عدد أقل يجمع بين عدد من الناس يقطنون مساحة ما، ومع تراجع قداسة اللغات الكنسية كاليونانية، ساهم ذلك على صنع جماعة متخيلة تنطق باللغة المحلية نفسها في وعي عدد ما من الناس.. لكن تقف أمام تلك الإفتراضية المستعمرات الأمريكية، من حيث أن لغاتهم لم تكن محلية، بل لغة المستعمر الإنجليزية والإسبانية والبرتغالية.. وهنا يخرج أندرسون بتفسير عقلاني، حيث ربط سبب ذلك بأن الكريوليون (البيض في المستعمرات) هم من بدأوا الحركة النضالية الإستقلالية عن المتروبول (الأبيض في الدولة المستعمرة) لأسباب إقتصادية، ثم لحقهم باقي السكان الأصليين، مما كان دافعاً لإيجاد عامل واحد مشترك فكانت لغة الدولة المستعمرة.في الفصول اللاحقة يشرح لنا دور الممالك السلالية في صنع التخيل، حينما سعت لفرض قومية رسمية سعياً منها للحاق بحقبة قومية صاعدة وإفلاتاُ من تهميش دورها بالقضاء على الممالك وشيوع الجمهوريات، رغم أن أغلب السلالات الحاكمة كانت من غير أهالي تلك الدول.بعد ذلك ينعطف إلى دور الإستعمار في صعود الوعي القومي في الدول المستعمرة، بعدما وفرت لهم الدولة الإستعمارية كل أدوات صنع الخيال والشعور بالإنتماء للجماعة، الخريطة، التعداد، المتحف.في أكثر من موضع يأكد أندرسون، خلافاً للرأي الشائع، ، "إن أصل الأحلام العنصرية هي إيديولوجيات الطبقة وليس إيديولوجيات الأمة".. فإن القومية في الغالب ما تنطوي على التضحية بدافع الإنتماء والحب، أما العنصرية فكانت تاريخية مستعرة على أيدي البرجوازية والطبقات الحاكمة ضد مواطنين في الغالب هم من نفس الدولة.رغم صعوبة وكثرة مصطلحات الكتاب، لكن سعة إطلاع كاتبه الأدبية، وإجادة المترجم ثائر ديب، قللت من جمود المصطلحات العلمية، وجعلت القراءة ليست فقط مفيدة، وشيقة كذلك.

  • Shreedhar Manek
    2019-02-11 16:11

    My professor promised that this would be an easy read, because of the (apparently) lucid language, but I cannot really claim the same. The myriad of unknown references makes this far from an easy read. Things are just said assuming the reader knows about everything that's being talked about.Imagined Communities is without doubt a seminal text. Anderson tries to explain the idea of nations and nationalism and lays out various models to do so. I don't want to say anything more about this, because if I do, I will not last very long in this brutal sleep deprived world.

  • Patrick McCoy
    2019-01-25 11:58

    I first heard about Benedict Anderson's seminal study of nationalism, Imagined Communities, from a newspaper article in The Bangkok Post while on vacation in Thailand a few years back. It's not such an unlikely place to hear about Anderson since it turns out that he is somewhat of an expert on SE Asian countries. It seems that he has made his name studying Indonesia, but he has also published widely on Thailand and the Philippines including the intriguing title, In the Mirror: Literature and Politics in Siam in the American Era. The main conceit is that Benedict Anderson defined a nation as "an imagined political community [that is] imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign." His discussion of nationalism is filtered through concepts like cultural roots, language, nationalism and imperialism, patriotism and racism, historical narratives, the rise of the census-maps-museums, as well as memory and forgetting. The examples he uses aren't only the typical European or American models. He focuses on smaller countries like Switzerland, Hungary and the Ukraine in Europe and Asian countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Japan. I found this to be a fascinating look at the modern nation state.

  • Victor
    2019-01-22 12:16

    What a cool book. I'm really turning around on my whole "no non fiction" bent. Anderson's language is great and his themes are straightforward and shifted a few paradigms for me.The idea of "imagined communities" is one of those genius things that seems so obvious once it's been said. Like a "why didn't I think of that?" kind of deal. It's also eloquently stated and supported throughout the rest of the text. Nationalism is kind of weird to think about in this context. Think about the kind of pressure it would have to put on someone for them to sacrifice their life for a national identity. It's immense, but practically illusory. I found the meditations on this to be the best parts of the text.Many more words were dedicated to the origin and persistence of nationalism. Origins were heavily attributed to language, which was interesting and not really what I predicted. There was a chapter or two added after the initial edition. I found them to be a little weaker, but still good additions. The last chapter was particularly interesting (Memory and Forgetting), but didn't feel much like a conclusion to Anderson's ideas. At least not to me. Still a fantastic read. Will really open your eyes about what nationalism is and what it means.