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The Spectre of Comparisons
In this series of profound and eloquent essays, Benedict Anderson, best known for his classic book on nationalism, ‘Imagined Communities’, explores these effects as they work their way through politics and culture. Spanning broad accounts of the development of nationalism and identity, and detailed studies of Southeast Asia, the book includes pieces on East Timor, where every Indonesian attempt to suppress national feeling has had the opposite effect; on the Philippines, where it is said that some horses eat better than stable-hands; on Thailand, where so much money can be made in elected posts that candidates regularly kill to get them; on the Filipino nationalist and novelist José Rizal for whom “we mortals are like turtles—we have value and are classified according to our shells;” and a remarkable essay on Mario Vargas Llosa, detailing the fate of indigenous minorities at the hands of the modern state. While ‘The Spectre of Comparisons’ is an indispensable resource for those interested in Southeast Asia, Anderson also takes up the large issues of the universal grammars of nationalism and ethnicity, the peculiarity of nationalist imagery as replicas without originals, and the mutations of nationalism in an age of mass global migrations and instant electronic communications.
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Author: Anderson, Benedict Year: 1998 ISBN: 9781859841846 Pages: 386 Language: English Publisher: Verso Publisher's city: London Publication date: