Nations and Nationalism

Nations and Nationalism

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First published in 1983, Nations and Nationalism remains one of the most influential explanations of the emergence of nationalism ever written. This updated edition of Ernest Gellner's now-canonical work includes a new introductory essay from John Breuilly, tracing the way the field has evolved over the past two decades, and a bibliography of important work on nationalism since 1983.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 12mm | 312g
  • Ithaca, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Second Edition
  • 2 figures; 2 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0801475007
  • 9780801475009
  • 85,111

Table of contents

Introduction, by John Breuilly

1. Definitions
State and Nation
The Nation

2. Culture in Agrarian Society
Power and Culture in the Agro-literate Polity Culture
The State in Agrarian Society
The Varieties of Agrarian Rulers

3. Industrial Society
The Society of Perpetual Growth
Social Genetics
The Age of Universal High Culture

4. The Transition to an Age of Nationalism
A Note on the Weakness of Nationalism
Wild and Garden Cultures

5. What is a Nation?
The Course of True Nationalism Never did Run Smooth

6. Social Entropy and Equality in Industrial Society
Obstacles to Entropy
Fissures and Barriers
A Diversity of Focus

7. A Typology of Nationalisms
The Varieties of Nationalist Experience
Diaspora Nationalism

8. The Future of Nationalism
Industrial Culture - One or Many?

9. Nationalism and Ideology
Who is for Nuremberg?
One Nation, One State

10. Conclusion
What is not being Said

Select Bibliography

Bibliography of Ernest Gellner's Writings on Nationalism, by Ian Jamie

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Review quote

"A better explanation than anyone has yet offered of why nationalism is such a prominent principle of political legitimacy today. This is a terse and forceful work... the product of great intellectual energy and an impressive range of knowledge." * Times Literary Supplement * "Brilliant, provocative... a great book." * New Statesman * "An important book... It is a new starting line from which all subsequent discussions of nationalism will have to begin." * New Society * "Periodically, an important book emerges that makes us, through the uniqueness of its theory, perceive history as we have not seen it before. Ernest Gellner has written such a volume. Students of nationalism will have to come to grips with his interpretation of the causes for the emergence of nationalism, since he has declared that most of the previous explanations are largely mythical." * American Historical Review * "Breuilly's new introduction provides an excellent critical overview of Gellner's writings on nationalism, judiciously evaluating his ideas while also providing insights into their place and continuing significance within the wider historiography of nationalism studies." -- Paul Lawrence, Open University
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About Ernest Gellner

The late Ernest Gellner (1925-1995) was Director of the Centre for the Study of Nationalism, part of the Central European University, in Prague. His many books included Plough, Sword and Book: The Structure of Human History, Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and Its Rivals, and Language and Solitude: Wittgenstein, Malinowski and the Habsburg Dilemma. John Breuilly is Professor of Nationalism and Ethnicity at the London School of Economics. His books include The Formation of the First German Nation-State, 1800-1871 and Nationalism and the State.
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Rating details

1,429 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 26% (373)
4 40% (566)
3 27% (388)
2 6% (81)
1 1% (21)
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