Perry Anderson's essays about modern states in The London Review of Books
August 25, 2012 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Perry Anderson's book length three part series on the history of India from the beginnings of its independence movement, through independence and partition into its recent history as a nation-state is the latest in a series of erudite, opinionated and wordy articles in The London Review of Books by the UCLA professor of history and sociology on the modern history of various countries, so far taking in Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, the EU, Russia, Taiwan and France. posted by Kattullus (6 comments total) 53 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't read any Perry Anderson since Origins of the Present Crisis, and EP Thompson's polemical savaging of that essay in one of the chapters in The Poverty Of Theory, and Anderson's much more interesting look at some of the debates Thompson's work highlights in Arguments Within English Marxism.

Back in the early 80's, those arguments seemed vital and alive and fascinating. I suspect today I'd find it all turgid and pointless -- though Thompson's polemic was always a pleasure to read.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:48 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

That series on India is amazing—one of the best things I've read on that difficult subject, and I like the way Anderson is unafraid to tell it like it is concerning an icon like Gandhi. And looking at that list of articles, I realize I've felt that way about a lot of what he's written and should really catch up with the ones I've missed. Thanks for the post.
posted by languagehat at 5:13 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'll say it again: anyone who likes these essays should pick up Anderson's The New Old World, a slightly earlier but no less monumental series of essays on the making of modern Europe.
posted by RogerB at 5:37 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Great fpp. Thank you.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:15 PM on August 25, 2012

Excellent post. Loved Anderson in college, when I was a Marxist. Not so much now. But always interesting.
posted by MarshallPoe at 3:57 AM on August 26, 2012

My first reaction to this post was me thinking, "Man, this guy has got to be making this stuff up by now." I'm intimate with his two part series, Passages From Antiquity to Feudalism and Lineages of the Absolutist State, and it just boggles my mind that this guy simply "drops" his research on European history and goes off into some completely different locale. My mind couldn't handle all the research and data involved. Love the guy though. Not much research still seems to be done in the like of what the Brenner Debate's were about. Which is a shame, given how fascinating this issue is and how important it's conclusions are.
posted by SollosQ at 6:38 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

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