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About the book
  • Published: 20 March 2017
  • ISBN: 9780141984070
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

Age Of Anger




A compelling, powerful argument about the roots of current global disorder.

The attempt to Westernize, modernize or secularize the non-West was long viewed benignly as a process of development and progress. Today, however, botched experiments in Western-style politics, military intervention and economic engineering visibly scar much of the non-Western world. As was once the case in Europe, the wider embrace of Western innovations - revolutionary politics, mass movements, technology, the pursuit of wealth and individualism - has caused extensive destruction of old social and moral bonds. And, this time, the radical disruption, which includes the remaking of life's meaning and goals, has cast billions adrift in a literally demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity.
Unable to fulfil the promises - stability and prosperity - of the global capitalist economy, and culturally and spiritually disorientated, many men and women are increasingly susceptible to demagogues and other dangerous simplifiers. A common reaction among them is intense hatred of supposed villains, the invention of enemies, attempts to recapture a lost golden age, unfocused fury and self-empowerment through nihilistic violence.
These are all phenomena familiar in Europe, if obscured for a while by its general post-1945 experience of relative affluence and peace. Nothing could be more European in its origins and ideology than the great wave of paranoid hatreds which currently engulf everyone from US 'shooters' to ISIS. They have now become inescapable in our interconnected and profoundly unequal world.
%%%Modernity, secularism, development, and progress have long been viewed by the powerful few as benign ideals for the many. Today, however, botched experiments in nation-building, democracy, industrialization and urbanization visibly scar much of the world. As once happened in Europe, the wider embrace of revolutionary politics, mass movements, technology, the pursuit of wealth and individualism has cast billions adrift in a literally demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected and the spiritually disorientated, that the militants of the 19th century arose - angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally.
Many more people today, unable to fulfil the promises - freedom, stability and prosperity - of a globalized economy, are increasingly susceptible to demagogues and their simplifications. A common reaction among them is intense hatred of supposed villains, the invention of enemies, attempts to recapture a lost golden age, unfocused fury and self-empowerment through spectacular violence.
In Age of Anger Pankaj Mishra explores the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world---from American 'shooters' and ISIS to Trump, Modi, and racism and misogyny on social media.
%%%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 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 fulfil its promises - 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: 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 19th century arose - angry young men who became cultural na

  • Pub date: 20 March 2017
  • ISBN: 9780141984070
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

About the Author

Pankaj Mishra

Pankaj Mishra is the author of Butter Chicken in Ludiana, The Romantics, An End to Suffering and Temptations of the West. He writes principally for the Guardian, The New York Times, London Review of Books and New York Review of Books. He lives in London, Shimla and New York.

pankajmishra.com

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