Blood and Belonging Journeys into the New Nationalism

Michael Ignatieff

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

276 Pages



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Until the end of the Cold War, the politics of national identity was confined to isolated incidents of ethnic strife and civil war in distant countries. 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 swept the globe. In Blood and Belonging, Ignatieff makes an 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 relations 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.


Praise for Blood and Belonging

"Vivid and readable, [Blood and Belonging] provides unforgettable impressions of societies that are going in the wrong direction on the highway to brotherhood and unity."—David Fromkin, Washington Post Book World

"An extraordinary guide, by a richly talented writer and reporter, to the pustular outbreaks of nationalism that keep marring the smooth complexion we expected the world to show after the Cold War. Ignatieff's eye for the heartbreaking detail makes the seeming madness of recent news stories comprehensible in human terms."—Robert MacNeil

"An immensely impressive meditation on nationalism in the post-Cold War world . . . powerful and subtle [with] a sublime understanding of the histories and politics of Croatia and Serbia, Germany, Ukraine, Quebec, Kurdistan, and Northern Ireland."—Library Journal

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Blood and Belonging
SIX JOURNEYSCHAPTER 1Croatia and SerbiaTHE ANCIEN REGIMEWILD strawberries were served in a silver cup at breakfast, I remember, followed by hot rolls with apricot jam. The dining room looked over the lake, and when the window was open you could feel the mountain air sweeping across the water, across the white linen tablecloth and then across your face.The hotel was called the Toplice, on the shores of Lake Bled, in Slovenia. The diplomatic corps spent the summer there, in attendance upon the dictator who took up residence across the lake. My father, like the other diplomats,
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  • Michael Ignatieff

  • 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.