At some point, I wrote a short review of Arjun Appadurai’s Modernity at Large for Amazon. I stumbled across it this evening, editing my account:
The great strength behind Appadurai’s book Modernity at Large is that he breaks out of the binary thinking that many new historians engage in. Instead, he offers what he coins landscapes, five different threads that weave together and influence one another to form our communities, imagined or otherwise. His ideas of how the imagination and imagined communities affect us build on the established works of others, especially Benedict Anderson, but his approach is very down to earth and accessible without pandering to a lowest common denominator. The book is dense, and not something to absorb in one sitting; it savours like a fine wine.
An excellent book, especially for students wanting to research deterritorialization and the transnational public sphere but are intimidated or frustrated with assigned texts.
I don’t remember writing it, but it’s quite obviously something that I did write. I read the words, and feel no remembrance or familiarity, but do feel longing to write that intelligently again. It doesn’t matter if you read, if you don’t write. It doesn’t matter if you write, if you don’t discuss. I’ve slacked off long enough – it’s time to kick myself back into gear, in all areas. I know I can write well, and comprehensively, about complex issues, and I am shortchanging myself by not doing so.