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"Brilliant, provocative ... a great book." New Statesman
<!--end-->"An important book ... a new starting line from which all subsequent discussions of nationalism will have to begin." New Society
"A better explanation than anyone has yet offered of why nationalism is such a prominent principle of political legitimacy today ... a terse and forceful work ... the product of great intellectual energy and an impressive range of knowledge." Times Literary Supplement
"Gellner's short book is an incisive, penetrating and persuasive discussion of how the nation-states of the modern industrial world differ from earlier states ... Gellner uses this analysis to explain the force of nationalism in the modern world." International Security
"Gellner's range is wide, covering the ideas of some modern thinkers from Marx, Malinowski and Carr to heideggar, Hroch, Havel and Said." Race and Class--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Nationalism is one of the most powerful forces in the modern world, yet it is surprisingly little studied and only imperfectly understood, either by its adherents or its opponents. Its irruption into the modern world is often explained as a resurgence of primitive, atavistic instincts, or as a delusion fostered by a few theoreticians, politicians or propagandists.
The present volume interprets nationalism in terms of its social roots, which it locates in industrial social organization. A society that aims for affluence and economic growth, Professor Gellner argues, depends on innovation, occupational mobility, mass media, universal literacy, and education in a shared, standard idiom. Taken together these transform the relationship between culture and the state. The functioning of the society depends on an all-embracing educational system, tied to one culture and protected by a state identified with that culture. The principle one state, one culture makes itself felt, and political units which do not conform to it feel the strain in the form of nationalist activity.--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. See all Product Description
At first I thought this was going to be an enjoyable, positive reading exercise since Chapter 1 was clear and thought provoking. Read morePublished on June 4 2004 by Amazon Customer