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 of the Cold War's 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--in places 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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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.