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The Nation and Its Fragments : Colonial and Postcolonial Histories - Partha Chatterjee

The Nation and Its Fragments

Colonial and Postcolonial Histories

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In this book, the prominent theorist Partha Chatterjee looks at the creative and powerful results of the nationalist imagination in Asia and Africa that are posited not on identity but on difference with the nationalism propagated by the West. Arguing that scholars have been mistaken in equating political nationalism with nationalism as such, he shows how anticolonialist nationalists produced their own domain of sovereignty within colonial society well before beginning their political battle with the imperial power. These nationalists divided their culture into material and spiritual domains, and staked an early claim to the spiritual sphere, represented by religion, caste, women and the family, and peasants. Chatterjee shows how middle-class elites first imagined the nation into being in this spiritual dimension and then readied it for political contest, all the while "normalizing" the aspirations of the various marginal groups that typify the spiritual sphere.

While Chatterjee's specific examples are drawn from Indian sources, with a copious use of Bengali language materials, the book is a contribution to the general theoretical discussion on nationalism and the modern state. Examining the paradoxes involved with creating first a uniquely non-Western nation in the spiritual sphere and then a universalist nation-state in the material sphere, the author finds that the search for a postcolonial modernity is necessarily linked with past struggles against modernity.

Industry Reviews

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 1994 "[This] is a work of magisterial erudition, the product of a mind working at the fullest command of its critical and creative powers ... destined to become a landmark, not just in its field but in that most important of histories which is the evolving narrative of our self-awareness."--The Calcutta Telegraph

Preface and Acknowledgments
Whose Imagined Community?p. 3
The Colonial Statep. 14
The Nationalist Elitep. 35
The Nation and Its Pastsp. 76
Histories and Nationsp. 95
The Nation and Its Womenp. 116
Women and the Nationp. 135
The Nation and Its Peasantsp. 158
The Nation and Its Outcastsp. 173
The National Statep. 200
Communities and the Nationp. 220
Notesp. 241
Bibliographyp. 263
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691019437
ISBN-10: 0691019436
Series: Princeton Studies in Culture/Power/History
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 7th November 1993
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.42 x 15.6  x 1.73
Weight (kg): 0.41