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Nations

Rosalind Mitchison, 17 September 1987

Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism 
by Benedict Anderson.
Verso, 160 pp., £5.95, November 1987, 0 86091 759 2
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Culture, Identity and Politics 
by Ernest Gellner.
Cambridge, 189 pp., £8.95, June 1987, 0 521 33667 8
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The Ethnic Origins of Nations 
by Anthony Smith.
Blackwell, 312 pp., £25, October 1986, 0 631 15205 9
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Us and Them: A Study of Group Consciousness 
by W.A. Elliott.
Aberdeen University Press, 164 pp., £12.50, November 1986, 9780080324388
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... What nationalism is, and how it came to exist, are topics of some significance today. One reason for this is practical: that a suitable answer to these questions would justify some states, sure of their own right to nationalism, in suppressing national claims by minority or neighbour populations. There are other, more intellectually respectable, reasons ...

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