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

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Description


A Financial Times and The Economist Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

A SURPRISING, GRIPPING NARRATIVE DEPICTING THE THINKERS WHOSE IDEAS SHAPED CONTEMPORARY CHINA, INDIA, AND THE MUSLIM WORLD

A little more than a century ago, independent thinkers across Asia sought to frame a distinct intellectual tradition that would inspire the continent's rise to dominance. Yet this did not come to pass, and today those thinkers—Tagore, Gandhi, and later Nehru in India; Liang Qichao and Sun Yat-sen in China; Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Abdurreshi al Ibrahim of the Ottoman Empire—are seen as outsiders within the main anticolonial tradition. But as Pankaj Mishra demonstrates in this enthralling portrait of like minds, Asia's revolt against the West is not the one led by faith-fired terrorists and thwarted peasants; rather, it is rooted in the ideas of these once renowned intellectuals. Now, when the ascendency of Asia seems possible as never before, From the Ruins of Empire is as necessary as it is timely—a book indispensable to our understanding of the world and our place in it.

About the Author


Pankaj Mishra is the author of From the Ruins of Empire, Age of Anger, and several other books. He is a columnist at Bloomberg View and writes regularly for The Guardian, the London Review of Books, and The New Yorker. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he lives in London.

Praise For…


“Reverses the long gaze of the West upon the East, showing modern history as it has been felt by the majority of the world's population, from Turkey to China...Amazing.” —Orhan Pamuk

“Essential reading for everyone who is interested in the processes of change that have led to the emergence of today's Asia.” —Amitav Ghosh, The Wall Street Journal

“Timely and important...An astute and entertaining synthesis of these neglected histories.” —Hari Kunzru, The New York Times Book Review

“From the Ruins of Empire retains the power to instruct and even to shock. It provides us with an exciting glimpse of the vast and still largely unexplored terrain of anticolonial thought that shaped so much of the post-Western world in which we now live.” —Financial Times (London)

“Subtle, erudite, and entertaining.” —The Economist

“History is sometimes a contest of narratives. Here Pankaj Mishra looks back on the 19th and 20th centuries through the work of three Asian thinkers: Jamal al-Din Afghani, Liang Qichao and Rabindranath Tagore. The story that emerges is quite different from that which most Western readers have come to accept. Enormously ambitious but thoroughly readable, this book is essential reading for everyone who is interested in the processes of change that have led to the emergence of today's Asia.” —Amitav Ghosh, author of Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke

“With uncommon empathy, Mishra has excavated a range of ideas, existential debates, and spiritual struggles set in motion by Asia's rude collision with the West, leading to outcomes no one could have predicted but which, after his account, seem more comprehensible--and that is no mean achievement. Above all, Mishra sheds new light on an important part of our collective journey, the inner and outer turmoil we inhabited, the price we paid, and what we did to each other along the way. We might yet learn from it and redeem ourselves in some measure.” —Namit Arora, 3 Quarks Daily

“After Edward Said's masterpiece Orientalism, From the Ruins of Empire offers another bracing view of the history of the modern world. Pankaj Mishra, a brilliant author of wide learning, takes us through, with his skillful and captivating narration, interlinked historical events across Japan, China, Turkey, Iran, India, Egypt, and Vietnam, opening up a fresh dialogue with and between such major Asian reformers, intellectuals, and revolutionaries as Liang Qichao, Tagore, Jamal al-din al-Afghani, and Sun Yatsen.” —Wang Hui, author of China's New Order and The Rise of Modern Chinese Thought and Professor of Chinese Intellectual History at Tsinghua University, Beijing

“Pankaj Mishra has produced a riveting account that makes new and illuminating connections. He follows the intellectual trail of this contested history with both intelligence and moral clarity. In the end we realise that what we are holding in our hands is not only a deeply entertaining and deeply humane book, but a balance sheet of the nature and mentality of colonisation.” —Hisham Matar

“Mishra's survey knowledgeably presents an intellectual history of anti-imperialism.” —Booklist

“Meticulous scholarship…..History, as Mishra insists, has been glossed and distorted by the conqueror….[This] passionate account of the relentless subjugation of Asian empires by European, especially British, imperialism, is provocative, shaming and convincing.” —Michael Binyon, Times (London)

“Superb and groundbreaking. Not just a brilliant history of Asia, but a vital history for Asians.” —Mohsin Hamid, author of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

“Fascinating…a rich and genuinely thought-provoking book.” —Noel Malcolm, Telegraph

“One can only be thankful for writers like Mishra. From The Ruins Of Empire is erudite, provocative, inspiring and unremittingly complex; a model kind of non-fiction for our disordered days….May well be seen in years to come as a defining volume of its kind.” —Stuart Kelly, Scotsman

“Deeply researched and 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

“Mishra has no time at all for big, broad-brush accounts of western success contrasted with eastern hopelessness. Instead, he is preoccupied by the tragic moral ambivalence of his tale. . . From the Ruins of Empire gives eloquent voice to their curious, complex intellectual odysseys as they struggled to respond to the western challenge . . . Luminous details glimmer through these swaths of political and military history.” —Julia Lovell, The Guardian

“[An] ambitious survey of the decline and fall of Western colonial empires and the rise of their successors. . . A highly readable and illuminating exploration of the way in which Asian, and Muslim countries in particular, have resented Western dominance and reacted against it with varying degrees of success.” —The Tablet (UK)

From the Ruins of Empire jolts our historical imagination and suddenly places it on the right, though deeply repressed, axis. It is a book of vast and wondrous learning and delightful and surprising associations that will give a new meaning to a liberation geography. From close and careful readings of some mighty Asian intellectuals of the last two centuries who have rarely been placed in this creative and daring conversation with each other, Pankaj Mishra has discovered and revealed, against the grain of conventional and cliched bifurcations of 'The West and the Rest,' a continental shift in our historical consciousness that will define a whole new spectrum of critical thinking.” —Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University



Product Details
ISBN: 9781250037718
ISBN-10: 1250037719
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: August 27th, 2013
Pages: 368
Language: English