With a deep knowledge of both Western and non-Western history, and like no other before him, Pankaj Mishra comes to grips with the malaise at the heart of these dangerous times. This is the most astonishing, convincing, and disturbing book I've read in years (Joe Sacco)
Incisive and scary.. a wake-up call (Nick Fraser Guardian)
Far from reassuring... his vision is unusually broad, accommodating and resistant to categorisation. It is the kind of vision the world needs right now...Pankaj Mishra shouldn't stop thinking. (Christopher de Bellaigue Financial Times)
This is a framework that pushes aside conventional, familiar divisions of left and right to focus on the profound sense of dislocation and alienation that spawned (and still spawns) movements ranging from fascism to anarchism to nihilism...a short book into which a lot of intellectual history has been packed. (Laura Miller Slate)
Stimulating... thought-provoking (Richard Evans Guardian)
A valuable book. Mishra's ideas are bold and initially discomfiting - it's a challenge to look over the head of the latest terrorist and try to dispassionately trace his rage back to Voltaire - but it's undeniably good to stretch intellectual muscles and test your own prejudices. Mishra invites us to hear the ugly, muffled shouts beneath the "drumbeat" of Western civilisation. (Julie McDowall Sunday Herald)
Mishra reads like a brilliant autodidact, putting to shame the many students who dutifully did the reading for their classes but missed the incandescent fire and penetrating insight in canonical texts... no one has discerned better than Mishra just how far we still are from the top. (Samuel Moyn New Republic)
Around the world, both East and West, the insurrectionary fury of militants, zealots and populists has overturned the post-Cold-War global consensus. Where does their rage come from, and where will it end? One of the sharpest cultural critics and political analysts releases his landmark "history of the present (Boyd Tonkin Newsweek)
An original attempt to explain today's paranoid hatreds...Iconoclastic...Mr. Mishra shocks on many levels. (Economist)
From the Inside Flap
He shows that as the world became modern those who were unable to fulfil its promises - freedom, stability and prosperity - were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world or were left, or pushed, behind, reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the 19th century arose - angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally.
Today, just as then, the wider embrace of mass politics, technology, and the pursuit of wealth and individualism has cast many more millions adrift in a literally demoralized world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity - with the same terrible results
Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a book of immense urgency and profound argument. It is a history of our present predicament unlike any other.