Els orígens ètnics de les nacions
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2008, 472 pp.
When and how did the nations emerge? Is it a strictly modern phenomenon? This long book analyses the social and historical roots and the main features of contemporary national identity. By rejecting the old perspectives that saw the nations as something immemorial, as well as the recent theories that consider them as a product of capitalism and industrialism, Anthony D. Smith presents an original interpretation that details the development of the national genealogy to the pre-modern ethnic’s foundations. In the first part of the book, the author offers a wide research of the different types of ethnic’s communities, of the myths and the movements of the resistance. He explains how important the wars between states have been and the organised religion to preserve the lasting ethnic communities, and for that, he turns to numerous examples of the old world and the Medieval Europe. In the second part, Smith analyses the formation and features of the modern nations and shows how the intellectuals have rebuilt them from the feelings and old ethnic ties. The author marks that the modern nations – a fusion of pre-modern ethnic identities and modern ‘civic’ elements – need the symbols, the myths and the memories of the ethnic essences to generate a feeling of solidarity and secular determination. He also shows that the intense conflicts created by the contemporary ethnic nationalisms will continue undamaged until there is a greater recognition of the intern ‘antiquity’ of many modern nationalities. Illustred with maps and with an extensive bibliography, the book offers a historical and sociological perspective which is defiant about the ethnicity and the nations. It has now become essential to those interested in history and social sciences.
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