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Is Blood Thicker Than Water?: Crises of Nationalism in the Modern World (The Barbara Frum lectureship)

Is Blood Thicker Than Water?: Crises of Nationalism in the Modern World (The Barbara Frum lectureship) [Kindle Edition]

James M. Mcpherson

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Product Description

Product Description

From Pulitzer Prize-winner James M. McPherson comes a brilliant and passionate examination of nationalism in today's world, and its effects on the stability of the world's countries, big and small.

Since the end of the Cold War, nationalism has re-emerged as one of the most powerful forces in the modern world. Students of nationalism have analyzed two principal categories of this phenomenon. Ethnic nationalism is more familiar and easier to define; it broke up Yugoslavia into four mutually hostile ethnic nations. It split Czechoslovakia into two nations. It threatens to do the same to Canada. In contrast, civic nationalism defines national identity not by presumed descent from an ancient bloodline with its own language, culture and genetic purity but by citizenship in a national state and loyalty to its political institutions.

James M. McPherson focuses on the American Civil War and Quebec's bid for separation from Canada as case studies in the contest between these two strains of nationalism, and offers both implicit and explicit comparisons to modern counterparts.

Is Blood Thicker Than Water? will finally give us the perspective to look at this phenomenon clearly and objectively.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1088 KB
  • Print Length: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (11 Feb 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004OR1LYO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #865,014 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise, yet illuminating 2 May 2000
By Edward Bosnar - Published on
Perhaps my only criticism of this book would be that it is too short. Even though McPherson is a historian who specializes in the Civil War period of American history, this short essay is a very useful contribution to the study of nationalism. The main reason is that it focuses on nationalism where most of today's intellectual elite says it doesn't exist: in the United States and Canada. Although written as something of a "warning" for Canadians, i.e. that they may be facing the same problems today with Quebec that the U.S. did in the 19th century with the South, McPherson refrains from stating that the problems of Southern nationalism in the U.S. have been resolved. Also important is his analysis of civic and ethnic nationalism, meaning nationalism based on loyalty and pride in common legal, state and civil institutions as opposed to nationalism based on common language, culture and "blood ties." While McPherson sees the former as a more positive phenomenon, he correctly points out that even it can often engender the same type of fanaticism and inspire people to act violently, just like the latter. Finally, perhaps most fascinating aspect of the book is its exploration of early expressions of American nationalism, e.g. in the speeches and writings of Thaddeus Stephens among others, which could be the basis of a longer and more comprehensive study.
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