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Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra. New York. 2017. Farrar Straus Giroux. 9780374274788. 406 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Jason Heuer.

 

9780374274788FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

One of our most important public intellectuals reveals the hidden history of our current global crisis. How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world―from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century before leading us to the present. He shows that as the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises―of freedom, stability, and prosperity―were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world―or were left, or pushed, behind―reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: with intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the nineteenth century arose―angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally. Today, just as then, the wide embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast many more billions adrift in a demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity―with the same terrible results. Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other.

 

 

Mishra PankajPankaj Mishra born 1969 in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh (North India), is an Indian essayist and novelist. He is particularly notable for his book BUTTER CHICKEN IN LUDHIANA, a sociological study of small-town India, and his writing for the New York Review of Books. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in commerce from Allahabad University before earning his Master of Arts degree in English literature at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. He was the Visiting Fellow for 2007-2008 at the Department of English, University College London, UK. In 1992, he moved to Mashobra, a Himalayan village, where he began to contribute literary essays and reviews to The Indian Review of Books, The India Magazine, and the newspaper The Pioneer. His first book was BUTTER CHICKEN IN LUDHIANA: TRAVELS IN SMALL TOWN INDIA (1995), a travelogue that described the social and cultural changes in India in the new context of globalization. His novel The ROMANTICS (2000), an ironic tale of people longing for fulfillment in cultures other than their own, was published in eleven European languages and won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction. His recent book AN END TO SUFFERING: THE BUDDHA IN THE WORLD (2004) mixes memoir, history, and philosophy while attempting to explore the Buddha's relevance to contemporary times. TEMPTATIONS OF THE WEST: HOW TO BE MODERN IN INDIA, PAKISTAN AND BEYOND (2006), describes Mishra's travels through Kashmir, Bollywood, Afghanistan, Tibet, Nepal, and other parts of South and Central Asia. In 2005, Mishra published an anthology of writing on India, INDIA IN MIND (Vintage). His writings have been anthologized in THE PICADOR BOOK OF JOURNEYS (2000), THE VINTAGE BOOK OF MODERN INDIAN LITERATURE (2004), and AWAY: THE INDIAN WRITER AS EXPATRIATE (Penguin), among other titles. He has introduced new editions of Rudyard Kipling's KIM (Modern Library), E. M. Forster's A PASSAGE TO INDIA (Penguin Classics), and J. G. Farrell's THE SIEGE OF KRISHNAPUR (NYRB Classics). He has also introduced two volumes of V. S. Naipaul's essays: THE WRITER AND THE WORLD AND LITERARY OCCASIONS. Mishra writes literary and political essays for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and New Statesman, among other American, British, and Indian publications. His work has also appeared in The Boston Globe, Common Knowledge, the Financial Times, Granta, The Independent, the London Review of Books, n+1, The Nation, Outlook, Poetry, Time, The Times Literary Supplement, Travel + Leisure, and The Washington Post. He divides his time between London and India, and is presently working on a novel. His book TEMPTATIONS OF THE WEST: HOW TO BE MODERN IN INDIA, PAKISTAN, TIBET AND BEYOND was reviewed by The Economist (1–7 July 2006 issue). In 2008 he was one of the first authors to take part in the Palestine Festival of Literature. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008..

 

 

 

 

 

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