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- He is the brother of Perry Anderson.
- Partial works
- Interpreting Indonesian Politics: Thirteen Contributions to the Debate (1982)
- Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (1983)
- In the Mirror: Literature and Politics in Siam in the American Era (1985)
- Language and Power: Exploring Political Cultures in Indonesia (1990)
- ... the concept was born in an age in which Enlightenment and Revolution were destroying the legitimacy of the divinely-ordained, hierarchical dynastic realm. Coming to maturity at a stage of human history when even the most devout adherents of any universal religion were inescapably confronted with the living pluralism of such religions, and the [direct relationship] between each faith's ontological claims and territorial stretch, nations dream of being free, and, if under God, directly so. The gage and emblem of this freedom is the sovereign state. (pp. 6-7)
- [A nation is an imagined community because] regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship. [...] Ultimately it is this fraternity that makes it possible, over the past two centuries, for so many millions of people, not so much to kill, as willingly to die for such limited imaginings.
- Anderson falls into the "historicist" or "modernist" school of nationalism along with Ernest Gellner and Eric Hobsbawm in that he posits that nations and nationalism are products of modernity and have been created as means to political and economic ends. This school stands in opposition to the primordialists, who believe that nations, if not nationalism, have existed since early human history. Imagined communities can be seen as a form of social constructionism on a par with Edward Said's concept of imagined geographies.