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Cover for Temptations of the West

Temptations of the West

How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond

Pankaj Mishra


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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

In 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.

Praise For Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond

“Fascinating . . . Pankaj Mishra's travels are interwoven with pungent commentary on modern politics in South Asia. . . . This is not a gentle book, but it is a brave one.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A set of probing essays about strife and sorrow in volatile South Asia . . . Unusually insightful and eloquent, Mishra deftly deciphers forces political, religious, and economic.” —Booklist

“An insightful new book that blends journalism, travel writing, memoir, and sharp political commentary.” —The Miami Herald

Picador, 9780312426415, 336pp.

Publication Date: June 12, 2007

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.