A New York Times Book Review Editors ChoiceIn Temptations of the West, Pankaj Mishra brings literary authority and political insight to bear on journeys through South Asia, and considers the pressures of Western style modernity and prosperity on the region Beginning in India, his examination takes him from the realities of Bollywood stardom, to the history of Jawaharlal Nehru s post independence politics In Kashmir, he reports on the brutal massacre of thirty five Sikhs, and its intriguing local aftermath And in Tibet, he exquisitely parses the situation whereby the atheist Chinese government has discovered that Tibetan Buddhism can be packaged and sold to tourists Temptations of the West is essential reading about a conflicted and rapidly changing region of the world....
|Title||:||Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond|
|Publisher||:||Picador Reprint edition June 12, 2007|
|Number of Pages||:||336 pages|
|File Size||:||786 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond Reviews
The book contains treatises on the author's travels through India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and Tibet. Pankaj Mishra provides honest, fearless reports from the areas he visits. The incidents and conditions that he reports are hardly covered or purposely censored in the mainstream media. Reports from Kashmir, Pakistan's play in Afghanistan and the political reasons on events and the governments responses, are well covered. He also mentions the threats he and his family have received due to his frank coverage.
not a great book
The problem with journalistic sketches such as these is that they are forever becoming obsolete. Since many of these essays take the reader only to 2004, one is left wondering, for instance, what is happening today in Bollywood, with India's BJP party, in Kashmir, in Musharref's Pakistan, and in Nepal and Tibet. Events in these parts of the world are moving faster than Mishra can write about them. But the great value added here is Mishra's untangling of the tortured web of historical events and personalities from which India, Kashmir, and Pakistan stumbled their painful way into their current predicaments. Often one is left trembling with despair. For instance, Mishra gives us a detailed retelling of the decades of ubiquitous injustices and murders rampant in Kashmir. And the deeply solidified hatreds and passions that have emerged from the power-hungry ambitions of men throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, from the British on, leave one feeling hopeless for any reasonable resolution to the India/Pakistan Muslim/Western miasma engulfing us today. Indeed, one wonders at the subtitle of this book, "How To Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond." It seems to be something of an ironic joke, since Mishra is never at a loss to point out the hypocrisy of corrupt Indian "modern" politicians who live in a self-imposed bubble and ignore the suffering of millions. He also gives us an insider's look at Bollywood's lightweight "modern" movie stars and movie makers whose financial backing comes from criminals. And in general he sees the cup here as definitely more than half empty. Perhaps that viewpoint is from his many interviews at the ground level, with the suffering masses, the pathetic, powerless victims, and the poverty-stricken illiterate.
Mishra is an Upper Caste Hindu Journalist who tries to show us the conditions of the States of the Indian Subcontinent as a result of Globalization and Modernization through his eyes and experiences. We follow him as he interacts with people in different castes, politics, Bollywood Entertainment, the Police, the Military, Militias, education, and simple peasants.
In this book of essays, travel reports, and opinions, I'm not quite sure just what the word 'Modern' means in the sub-title. The places he visits and upon which he reports don't seem to fit my definition of 'modern.'