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Nations and Identities: Classic Readings



Nations and Identities: Classic Readings

Vincent P. Pecora (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-631-22208-8 February 2001 Wiley-Blackwell 388 Pages


This anthology brings together selections from some of the most significant writings on the idea of national identity over the last 400 years and includes important contributions to contemporary debates in the social sciences and postcolonial studies.

Introduction: Vincent P. Pecora.

Part I: Inventing the Modern State:.

1. Leviathan (1651): Thomas Hobbes.

2. Two Treatises of Government (1690): John Locke.

Part II: From Divine to Human History:.

3. The New Science (1725; 1744): Giambattista Vico.

4. The Spirit of the Laws (1748): Charles Louis de Secondat (Baron de Montesquieu).

5. The Social Contract, Origin of Inequality, and Government of Poland (1754-72): Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

6. Dissertations on Ossian (1763): James Macpherson.

7. Ideas for a Philosophy of History of Mankind (1784-91): Johann Gottfried von Herder.

8. Discourse on the Hindus (1786): Sir William Jones.

9. Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790): Edmund Burke.

Part III: The Spirit of a People:.

10. Study on Sovereignty (Composed 1793-8; First Published 1884): Joseph de Maistre.

11. Addresses to the German Nation (1808): Johann Gottlieb Fichte.

12. The Philosophy of History (1830-1): G. W. F. Hegel.

13. The Inequality of Human Races (1854): Arthur de Gobineau.

14. Considerations on Representative Government (1861): John Stuart Mill.

15. Nationality (1862): John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton.

16. To the Italians (1871): Giuseppe Mazzini.

17 What is a Nation? (1882): Ernest Renan.

18. Our America (1891): José Martí.

19. The Jewish State (1896): Theodor Herzl.

20. The Conservation of Races (1897): W. E. B. Du Bois.

21. Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (1899): Houston Stewart Chamberlain.

Part IV: Nations at the End of Empires:.

22. Home Rule, Enlightened Anarchy, and National Language (1909-39): Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

23. The Right of Nations to Self-Determination (1914): V. I. Lenin.

24. Addresses: The Fourteen Points and League of Nations (1918-19): Woodrow Wilson.

25. Aims and Objects of Movement for Solution of Negro Problem (1924): Marcus Garvey.

26. The Myth of the Twentieth Century (1930): Alfred Rosenberg.

27 Three Guineas (1938): Virginia Woolf.

28. Discourse on Colonialism (1955): Aimé Césaire.

29 On National Culture (1959): Frantz Fanon.

Part V: Contemporary Perspectives:.

30. The Integrative Revolution: Primordial Sentiments and Civil Politics in the New States (1963): Clifford Geertz.

31. Nations and Nationalism (1983): Ernest Gellner.

32. Imagined Communities (1983): Benedict Anderson.

33. The Riddle of Midnight: India, August 1987: Salman Rushdie.

34. The Nationalist Resolution of the Women's Question (1987): Partha Chatterjee.

35. The Origins of Nations (1989): Anthony D. Smith.

36. A Kind of Scar: The Woman Poet in a National Tradition (1989): Eavan Boland.

37. Narrating the Nation (1990): Homi K. Bhabha.

38. Culture and Imperialism (1993): Edward W. Said.


"Pecora is an extremely thoughtful, intelligent, and substantial scholar. This book will be enormously helpful to students and teachers in colonial and postcolonial studies. The selections are wide-ranging and acutely chosen, and will allow students to connect history to the present, or better still, to see the present as part of a continuing, questionable history." Michael Wood, Princeton University

"This is a timely, reader-friendly anthology that should be widely used both for academic and for more general purposes. It offers 'classic readings,' as well as a range of 'contemporary perspectives.' The introduction provides a clear overview from the 1600s down to our postcolonial and transnational moment." Patrick Brantlinger, Indiana University

"Providing an excellent selection of key documents from Hobbes's Leviathan (1651)to Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism (1993), Nations and Identities offers the reader genuine insight into the way problems of nation-building and unbuilding, identity-formation and deformation have been addressed across time. Pecora introduces the anthology with an incisive essay that outlines major issues shaping the contemporary discussion of nations and national identity. This book will be of great value for its readers both in courses and across the disciplines." Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University

  • Includes a broad range of essays covering four centuries and representing a wide range of political perspectives, including material on gender and the post-colonial perspective.
  • Presents an historical survey and introduction to the contemporary debate surrounding national identity.
  • Includes excerpts from the most important theorists of race in the nineteenth century: Gobineau, Chamberlain, and Du Bois plus rarely anthologized figures such as Montesquieu, Macpherson, Jones, Maistre, MartY, and Gandhi.
  • Includes a long introductory essay and substantive head notes that preface each selection.