Age of Anger: A History of the Present
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.
Brilliant... shows modern history as it has been felt by the majority of the world's population Orhan Pamuk on Pankaj Mishra's 'From the Ruins of Empire' Arrestingly original... this penetrating and disquieting book should be on the reading list of anybody who wants to understand where we are today -- John Gray Independent Riveting... deeply entertaining and deeply humane Hisham Matar
Pankaj Mishra is the author of Butter Chicken in Ludiana, The Romantics, An End to Suffering,Temptations of the West and From the Ruins of Empire. 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.