From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia

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Penguin Books, 2012 - 356 pages
6 Reviews
From Pankaj Mishra, author the successful Temptations of the West and Butter Chicken in Ludhiana, comes a provocative account of how China, India and the Muslim World are remaking the world in their own image. The Victorian period, viewed in the West as a time of self-confident progress, was experienced by Asians as a catastrophe. As the British gunned down the last heirs to the Mughal Empire, burned down the Summer Palace in Beijing, or humiliated the bankrupt rulers of the Ottoman Empire, it was clear that for Asia to recover a vast intellectual effort would be required. Pankaj Mishra's fascinating, highly entertaining new book tells the story of a remarkable group of men from across the continent who met the challenge of the West. Incessantly travelling, questioning and agonising, they both hated the West and recognised that an Asian renaissance needed to be fuelled in part by engagement with the enemy. Through many setbacks and wrong turns, a powerful, contradictory and ultimately unstoppable series of ideas were created that now lie behind everything from the Chinese Communist Party to Al Qaeda, from Indian nationalism to the Muslim Brotherhood. Mishra allows the reader to see the events of two centuries anew, through the eyes of the journalists, poets, radicals and charismatics who criss-crossed Europe and Asia and created the ideas which lie behind the powerful Asian nations of the twenty-first century.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - le.vert.galant - LibraryThing

A very readable account of Asian history as seen through the eyes of representative intellectuals such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Liang Qichao. I enjoyed the books perspective and synthesis, but I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - William345 - LibraryThing

An interesting history of anti-colonial intellectual life in the East during the greatest days of Imperialism. Mishra's new book is one much needed by Western readers. It's a necessary corrective. It ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

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.

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