Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra PDF

By Pankaj Mishra

ISBN-10: 0374274789

ISBN-13: 9780374274788

One in every of our most vital public intellectuals finds the hidden background of our present international crisis

How will we clarify the origins of the good wave of paranoid hatreds that appear inescapable in our close-knit world―from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from an increase in vengeful nationalism internationally to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra solutions our bewilderment by way of casting his gaze again to the eighteenth century ahead of major us to the present.

He exhibits that because the global grew to become glossy, those that have been not able to take pleasure in its promises―of freedom, balance, and prosperity―were more and more prone to demagogues. the various who got here overdue to this new world―or have been left, or driven, behind―reacted in horrifyingly related methods: with severe hatred of invented enemies, makes an attempt to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment via fantastic violence. It was once from one of the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the 19th century arose―angry younger males who turned cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally.

Today, simply as then, the extensive embody of mass politics and know-how and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have solid many extra billions adrift in a demoralized international, uprooted from culture yet nonetheless faraway from modernity―with an identical bad results.

Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a publication of mammoth urgency and profound argument. it's a historical past of our current crisis in contrast to the other.

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But the man from Corsica most dramatically incarnated, during his attempted world conquest, the human will that has been liberated from traditional constrictions, and adapted to mastery and control. It wasn’t just French writers like Stendhal who missed the beauty and grandeur of life during the Napoleonic Wars, and loathed a grasping bourgeoisie and the tedious rigmarole of legislation. As the Swiss-French writer Madame de Staël shrewdly pointed out, Napoleon’s quasi-autistic machismo seduced ‘the minds both of his enemies and of his partisans’.

The sanitized histories celebrating how the Enlightenment or Great Britain or the West made the modern world put the two world wars in a separate, quarantined box, and isolated Stalinism, Fascism and Nazism within the mainstream of European history as monstrous aberrations. ‘Totalitarianism’ with its tens of millions of victims was identified as a malevolent reaction to a benevolent Enlightenment tradition of rationalism, humanism, universalism and liberal democracy – a tradition seen as an unproblematic norm.

It went to the printers in the week that Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Each of these earthquakes revealed fault lines that I felt had been barely noticed over the years, running through inner lives as well as nations, communities and families. The pages that follow try to make sense of bewildering, and often painful, experiences by re-examining a divided modern world, this time from the perspective of those who came late to it, and felt, as many people do now, left, or pushed, behind.

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Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra


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