25 Facts About Benedict Anderson


Benedict Richard O'Gorman Anderson was an Anglo-Irish political scientist and historian who lived and taught in the United States.


Benedict Anderson was the elder brother of the historian Perry Anderson.


Benedict Anderson was born on August 26,1936, in Kunming, China, to an Anglo-Irish father and English mother.


Benedict Anderson's father, James Carew O'Gorman Anderson, was an official with Chinese Maritime Customs.


Benedict Anderson took his middle names from the cousin of Major Purcell O'Gorman, Richard O'Gorman, who was one of the leaders of the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848.


Benedict Anderson's family moved to California in 1941 to avoid the invading Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War and then to Ireland in 1945.


Benedict Anderson studied at Eton College, where he won the Newcastle Scholarship, and went on to attend King's College, Cambridge.


Benedict Anderson earned a classics degree from Cambridge in 1957 before attending Cornell University, where he concentrated on Indonesia as a research interest and in 1967 received his Ph.


The violence following the September 1965 coup attempt that led to Suharto taking power in Indonesia disillusioned Benedict Anderson, who wrote that it "felt like discovering that a loved one is a murderer".


One of two foreign witnesses at the show trial of Communist Party of Indonesia general secretary Sudisman in 1971, Benedict Anderson published a translated version of the latter's unsuccessful testimony.


Benedict Anderson was fluent in many languages relevant to his Southeast Asian field, including Indonesian, Javanese, Thai and Tagalog, as well as the major European languages.


Benedict Anderson is best known for his 1983 book Imagined Communities, in which he described the major factors contributing to the emergence of nationalism in the world during the past three centuries.


Benedict Anderson defined a nation as "an imagined political community [that is] imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign".


Benedict Anderson was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994.


Benedict Anderson taught at Cornell until his retirement in 2002, when he became a professor emeritus of International Studies.


Benedict Anderson died in Batu, a hill town near Malang, Indonesia, in his sleep on December 13,2015.


Benedict Anderson had been in the middle of correcting the proofs of his memoir A Life Beyond Boundaries, which initially been published in Japanese translation.


Benedict Anderson was survived by two adopted sons of Indonesian origin.


Benedict Anderson is best known for his 1983 book, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, in which he examined how nationalism led to the creation of nations, or as the title puts it, imagined communities.


Benedict Anderson argued that the prerequisites for the rejection of these beliefs began in Western Europe through the numerous factors that led to the Age of Enlightenment, such as the power of economics, the scientific revolution, and the advent of improvements in communication brought about by the invention of the printing press under a system of capitalism.


Benedict Anderson considers nation state building as an imitative and transportable action, in which new political entities were copying the model of the nation state.


Thinkers like McLuhan, Elizabeth Eisenstein, and Benedict Anderson did not believe that nationalism came about because of a vaguely-defined "European" way of thinking, but because of the social, economic, and cultural practices associated with the rise of the printing press and the mass reproduction of printed material.


Therefore, for Benedict Anderson, the rise of print technology was essential to create the "deep horizontal comradeship" that despite its socially constructed origins, was genuine and deep-seated, explaining why nationalism can drive people to fight, die, and kill for their countries.


Benedict Anderson studied how the 19th century European dynasties that represented retention of power over huge polyglot domains, underwent naturalization at the same time as they developed programs of official nationalism in a process that he called the "willed merger of nation and dynastic empire".


Whereas previously, the legitimacy of European dynasties had nothing to do with nationalness, Benedict Anderson argued that after the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian empires in the aftermath of World War I, the nation-state superseded the empire as the norm in international affairs, as demonstrated by how delegates from the imperial powers in the post-war League of Nations were careful to present themselves as national delegates instead of imperial ones.