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Passion and Paradox : Intellectuals Confront the National Question - Joan Cocks

Passion and Paradox

Intellectuals Confront the National Question

Paperback Published: 24th March 2002
ISBN: 9780691074689
Number Of Pages: 232

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From Kosovo to Quebec, Ireland to East Timor, nationalism has been a recurrent topic of intense debate. It has been condemned as a source of hatred and war, yet embraced for stimulating community feeling and collective freedom. Joan Cocks explores the power, danger, and allure of nationalism by examining its place in the thought of eight politically engaged intellectuals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: the antagonist of capital, Karl Marx; the critics of imperialism Rosa Luxemburg, Hannah Arendt, and Frantz Fanon; the liberal pluralist Isaiah Berlin; the neonationalist Tom Nairn, and the post-colonial writers, V. S. Naipaul and Edward Said. Cocks not only sheds new light on the complexities of nationalism but also reveals the tensions that have inspired and troubled intellectuals who have sought to lead lives between detached criticism and political passion.


In lively, conversational prose, Cocks assesses their treatment of questions such as the mythology of national identity, the right to national self-determination, and the morality of nationalist violence. While ultimately critical of nationalism, she engages sympathetically even with its defenders. By illuminating the links that distinguished minds have drawn between thought and action on nationalism in politics, this stimulating work provides a rich foundation from which we ourselves might think or act more wisely when confronting a phenomenon that, in fundamental and perplexing ways, has shaped our world.

"The nuance, complexity, and clarity of this volume are refreshing."--Choice "This book is much more than a compilation of essays--it is a systematic and thought-provoking work of political philosophy on a continually pressing set of issues."--Philip Spencer, Political Studies Review

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Karl Marx Uncovers the Truth of National Identityp. 18
Imperialism, Self-Determination, and Violencep. 45
On the Jewish Questionp. 71
Are Liberalism and Nationalism Compatible? A Second Look at Isaiah Berlinp. 92
In Defense of Ethnicity, Locality, Nationality: The Curious Case of Tom Nairnp. 111
Cosmopolitanism in a New Keyp. 133
Conclusionp. 158
Notesp. 167
Bibliographyp. 201
Indexp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691074689
ISBN-10: 0691074682
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 24th March 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.32