Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra
A History of the Present

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This history is usually very welcome, but sometimes infuriatingly meandering, the author’s century-spanning chains of associations stretching well past the point where many readers will want to follow. But it is nonetheless worth sticking with...
-The Economist

Synopsis

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.

 

About Pankaj Mishra

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Pankaj Mishra was born in India in 1969 and lives in London and Mashobra, India. The author of An End to Suffering (FSG, 2004) and Temptations of the West (FSG, 2006), as well as a novel, The Romantics, he writes for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and The Guardian.
 
Published January 20, 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 416 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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The Economist

Above average
on Jan 28 2017

This history is usually very welcome, but sometimes infuriatingly meandering, the author’s century-spanning chains of associations stretching well past the point where many readers will want to follow. But it is nonetheless worth sticking with...

Read Full Review of Age of Anger: A History of th... | See more reviews from The Economist

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