A comparative, post-colonial exploration of how the collectivities of the New World became nations.
Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand emerged as nations. Through conquest and violent appropriation, European immigrants settled these lands and developed a sense of belonging, powerfully expressed in identity, memory, and the belief in utopias. Many of these new nations succeeded in breaking their colonial links to achieve political and cultural emancipation.
The Making of the Nations and Cultures of the New World explores the question of how a culture - a collective consciousness - is born. Gérard Bouchard compares the histories of New World collectivities, which were driven by a dream of freedom and sovereignty, and finds both major differences and striking commonalities in their formation and evolution. He also considers the myths and discursive strategies devised by elites in their efforts to unite and mobilize diversified populations.
The first English translation of Genèse des nations et cultures du Nouveau Monde - winner of a Governor General's Literary Award in 2000 - The Making of the Nations and Cultures of the New World provides important insights for contemporary nations in crisis.