Imagined Communities Book Summary (PDF) by Benedict Anderson

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Why This Book Matters:

Imagined Communities explains to readers the constructive and argumentative debate over nationalism.

The Big Takeaways:

  1. Nationalism received fame from the decline in the importance of religion after the Enlightenment era.
    1. If When people lost faith in a religion as a community, new idea-nationalism was founded.
  2. The establishment of national languages paved the way towards the rise of nationalism.
    1. The binding force among diverse social groups had become their unique national languages which developed a sense of harmony.
  3. The rise of nationalism was a practical threat to enormous political empires.
    1. The sense of unity among different communities denied the supremacy of foreign powers over the local groups, affecting imperial rule.
  4. The colonial mentality and the resistance toward the imperial rule redefined history.
    1. Starting from Europe, nationalism swept the globe. Even very small communities were determined to gain a new identity under this ideology.
  5. The rise of nationalism in Europe is due to the diversity in the languages at that time.
    1. When the revolution came, the diverse languages of states compelled them to think about their separate identity.

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