Anthony D. Smith

Nancy Qian recommends...

The Ethnic Origins of Nations
by Anthony D. Smith

As a habitual binge-reader, I prefer to recommend sets of books – beginning with three of Smith’s works: The Ethnic Origins of Nations, Myths and Memories of the Nation, and The Nation in History: Historiographical Debates about Ethnicity and Nationalism. These books argue that nationalism is rooted in very old and fundamental human notions of group identity. The ideas they put forward – which I’m still digesting – give shape to my understanding of how and why a country like China is both ancient and constantly changing. Read more.