Books for changing the world
Consciousness and Competition
In his latest collection of essays, Neil Davidson brings his formidable analytical powers to bear on the concept of the capitalist nation-state. Through probing inquiry, Davidson draws out how nationalist ideology and consciousness is used to bind the subordinate classes to “the nation,” while simultaneously using “the state” as a means of conducting geopolitical competition for capital.
  • "Neil Davidson left us with some of the clearest Marxist writing on nationalism that engages with the vast quantity of work published on the subject since the 1980s. His essays draw on a huge range of sources and clarify some of the fundamental concepts we need to make sense of the debate."
    —Daniel Finn, Jacobin
    Praise for How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? and Holding Fast to an Image of the Past

    “I was frankly pole-axed by this magnificent book. Davidson resets the entire debate on the character of revolutions: bourgeois, democratic, and socialist. He’s sending me, at least, back to the library.”
    —Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

    “This is, quite simply, the finest book of its kind.”
    —Tony McKenna, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books

    “This is Neil Davidson at his very best. In a sparkling set of essays, Davidson offers a conceptually sophisticated and historically wide-ranging analysis of the work of classical and contemporary political thinkers. . . . In terms of its depth of learning it stands in comparison with Perry Anderson’s Zone of Engagement. An essential read.”
    —Satnam Virdee, professor of sociology, University of Glasgow

    Holding Fast to an Image of the Past is illuminating, authoritative, and sometimes very funny. . . . This new collection fruitfully combines wide-ranging erudition with vivid vignettes.”
    —Bridget Fowler, emeritus professor of sociology, University of Glasgow

    “Neil Davidson is probably the most influential socialist writer on the subject of nations and nationalism in Scotland today. His analytical power has made him a force not only in academia, where he has pushed the boundaries of nationalism studies in general and interpretations of Scottish national history in particular, but more importantly in political activism where he has helped to transform the left’s relationship to the national question.” Scottish Left Review

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