Until the end of the Cold War, the politics of national identity was confined to isolated incidents of ethnics strife and civil war in distant countries. Now, with the collapse of Communist regimes across Europe and the loosening pf the Cold War'd clamp on East-West relations, a surge of nationalism has swept the world stage. In Blood and Belonging, Ignatieff makes a thorough examination of why blood ties--inplaces as diverse as Yugoslavia, Kurdistan, Northern Ireland, Quebec, Germany, and the former Soviet republics--may be the definitive factor in international relation today. He asks how ethnic pride turned into ethnic cleansing, whether modern citizens can lay the ghosts of a warring past, why--and whether--a people need a state of their own, and why armed struggle might be justified. Blood and Belonging is a profound and searching look at one of the most complex issues of our time.
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Modern nationalism is a language of the blood: a call to arms that can end in the horror of ethnic cleansing. But it is also a language of belonging: a call to come home. In Blood and Belonging, Michael Ignatieff explores both sides of nationalism in a personal odyssey that begins in the nightmare of former Yugoslavia and ends with his return to his adopted homeland, Great Britain's disunited kingdom. In the devastated cities and towns on either side of the Highway of Brotherhood and Unity that links Zagreb and Belgrade, Ignatieff asks how ethnic pride turned into ethnic cleansing. In a journey between Frankfurt and Leipzig, he asks whether the nation that disgraced modern nationalism can lay to rest the ghosts of its past. And in Ukraine, he asks how a new nation can dig itself out of the ruins of the Soviet empire. In Quebec, Ignatieff returns to his own roots as a Canadian and asks why a nation like Quebec, which is already a master in its own house, believes it needs a state of its own - particularly given the claims of Indian First Nations within that province. In the mountains of Kurdistan, the world's largest stateless people - the Kurds - are fighting the Turks, the Iraqis, and themselves to establish their own nation-state. When, Ignatieff asks, does national oppression justify armed struggle? In the final journey of the book, he visits Northern Ireland, where twenty-five years of strife have exposed the fault lines and fissures of a British national identity at the breaking point. Blood and Belonging is a profound and searching exploration of one of the most complex and volatile issues of our time.About the Author:
Michael Ignatieff is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, among other publications, and the author of many acclaimed books, including Isaiah Berlin, The Warrior's Honor, The Russian Album, and The Needs of Strangers. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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