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Michael Billing makes a provocative argument in a field that, as he rightly points out, takes the idea of the nation for granted. He provides a compelling answer to the postmodern claim that nationalism is waning. Also, in a masterful demonstration of the application of the study of banal nationalism, he identifies the underlying inconspicuous nationalist thread in the seemingly cosmopolitan work of Richard Rorty.
One can certainly admire Biling's effort to exemplify how nationalism is reproduced insidiously, on an everyday basis. To that end he discusses the importance of symbols like coins and flags, the language adopted by politicians, and that appropriated even by left leaning media. However, there is a certain randomness in the examples provided, that make the book feel very repetitive at times.
 

Review: Banal Nationalism

User Review  - Benson Hawk - Goodreads

Billig's key insight--that nationalism is best understood as the subtle, un-noticed, and yet ubiquitous markers of statehood that we live with--is hugely important. That being said, this thesis could have been defended in a solid article in a professional journal. Read full review

Review: Banal Nationalism

User Review  - Malcolm - Goodreads

This is one of my basic academic texts. Billig gets beyond the idea that nationalism is only a big political idea that happens out there, to unpack ways that it is in the everyday the shape of the ... Read full review


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