BLOOD AND BELONGING: Journeys Into the New...

BLOOD AND BELONGING: Journeys Into the New Nationalism by Michael Ignatieff (Noonday: $11, 263 pp., illustrated). In this intelligent travelogue written in conjunction with a BBC series, Canadian journalist Ignatieff examines ethnic and nationalist strife in Northern Ireland, Ukraine, Quebec, Germany, the former Yugoslavia and Iraq. He interviews political leaders, warlords and ordinary citizens, and provides a brief history of each conflict. Citing Freud's "narcissism of minor differences" as the underlying source of the often violent attachment people feel to their ethnic group, Ignatieff concludes, "Nationalism is a form of speech that shouts, not merely so that it will be heard, but so that it will believe itself. It is almost as if the quotient of crude historical fiction, violent moral exaggeration, ludicrous caricature of the enemy is in direct proportion to the degree to which the speaker is himself aware that it is all really a pack of lies."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World