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Temptations of the West

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

Pankaj Mishra

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A vivid, often surprising account of South Asia today by the author of An End to Suffering


In his new book, Pankaj Mishra brings literary authority and political insight to bear on travels that are at once epic and personal. Traveling in the changing cultures of South Asia, Mishra sees the pressures--the temptations--of Western-style modernity and prosperity, and teases out the paradoxes of globalization. A
visit to Allahabad, birthplace of Jawaharlal Nehru, occasions a brief history of the tumultuous post-independence politics Nehru set in motion. In Kashmir, just after the brutal killing of thirtyfive Sikhs, Mishra sees Muslim guerrillas playing with Sikh village children while the media ponder a (largely irrelevant) visit by President Clinton. And in Tibet Mishra exquisitely parses the situation whereby the Chinese government--officially atheist and strongly opposed to a free Tibet--has discovered that Tibetan Buddhism can "be packaged and sold to tourists."
Temptations of the West is a book concerned with history still in the making--essential reading about a conflicted and rapidly changing region.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Excerpted from Temptations of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond by Pankaj Mishra. Copyright © 2006 by Pankaj Mishra. Published in June 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.
 
BENARES
 
Learning to Read
 
I spent four months in Benares in the winter of 1988. I was twenty years old, with no clear idea of my future, or indeed much of anything else. After three idle, bookish years at a provincial university in a decaying old provincial town, I had developed an aversion to the world of careers and jobs which, having
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REVIEWS

Praise for Temptations of the West

Praise for An End to Suffering:

"Mishra's book is in the best tradition of Buddhism, both dispassionate and deeply engaged, complicated and simple, erudite and profoundly human." --Adam Goodheart, The New York Times Book Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Pankaj Mishra

  • PANKAJ MISHRA was born in north India in 1969. He is the author of An End to Suffering and The Romantics (which won the Los Angeles Times's Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction) and a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books.

  • Pankaj Mishra Nina Subin
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Available Formats and Book Details

Temptations of the West

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

Pankaj Mishra

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