Temptations of the West and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$15.63
Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.00
  • Save: $3.37 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond Paperback – June 12, 2007


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$15.63
$4.95 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond + From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia + An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World
Price for all three: $50.94

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; First Edition edition (June 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312426410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312426415
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mishra eloquently expresses his indignation at folly and injustice in these eight travelogues and profiles illuminating the challenge of Western-style globalization in South and Central Asia, where the pull of the West is countered by the politics of nationalism. In "Allahabad: The Nehrus, the Gandhis, and Democracy," Mishra weaves bitter commentary on the postcolonial dynasties into his observations of the "uneven" process of democracy at work during the 2000 elections in the "decaying" North India city of Allahabad. Mishra draws a complex portrait of successful Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt in "Bollywood: India Shining," whom Mishra is prepared to find reprehensible but comes to afford grudging respect. Mishra brings the same eye for character to "Kashmir: The Cost of Nationalism," about the brutal "cycle of retribution" between Muslims and Hindus in the contested region. On meeting a pro-India renegade commander who epitomizes an "unthinking preference for violence and terror," Mishra watches the man's "movie star glamour and... brute power" fall away as the commander demands a "free hand" in dealing with Muslim guerrillas. These instances of vivid description and personal reaction provide moments of clarity in this dense, well-written book (after An End to Suffering). (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From The New Yorker

Mishra, a Hindu, has been accused in his native India of "pandering to white pro-Muslim audiences in the West"—a notion that, he points out, was "optimistic" even before September 11th. In this acute survey of South and Central Asia (including Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Tibet), he reports on how countries are facing the crisis of modernization, hobbled by political corruption, poverty, and the abiding hatred of one tribe for another. Particularly illuminating is his chapter on Nepal, which, despite a veneer of regular elections, has long been mired in a battle between monarchy and Communism, both anachronisms in the West. Mishra cautions us not to underestimate "the rage and despair of people who, arriving late in the modern world, have known its primary ideology, democracy, only as another delusion."
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

The rest of the book he travels around searching for a story but he never really finds one.
Amazon Customer
He is appalled at how post independence bureaucrats of India have smoothly slipped into the shoes of their colonial masters, but does not offer any alternative.
Freefall
As it stands, and without context, Mishra's complaint sounds like an indictment of providing education to the prolitariat.
Sho

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John Sollami on October 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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.

I recommend this book for those naive Westerners, like Thomas J. Friedman, who think "shining India" is the focal point of the modern world. Not quite.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By India Reader on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you don't care about the title, then this is a very readable book and, Mishra is a good writer. It informs you about the people and places that Mishra visits; albeit in a somewhat cynical way. The problem arises when you start dissecting the book. You wonder if Mishra really has any expertise to write about places like Nepal, Tibet, Afghanisthan, Pakistan etc. It seems that his expertise is really in the underdeveloped Hindi belt, and surroundings of North India, an area which is quite removed from the modern world. Then what is this title all about? To find real stories about the temptations of the West, shouldn't one be digging in South India?

Coming back to the book, Mishra raises some soul searching issues about the failure of Democracy on one hand, and the tendency of the emerging Hindu middle classes to mutedly tolerate violence against minorities. Both of these issues are heavy topics that need to be covered thoroughly, with the one-on-one perspective that Mishra has.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Wittke on July 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Pankaj Mishra writes like he is having a long and detailed conversation with you. After spending a few weeks reading this book, I feel that he is a close member of my social circle. He is a true journalist - he does not preach, he allows you to draw your own conclusions. His facts will knock your socks off. This is stuff we never hear in our world of Fox News.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RoadToMandalay on October 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I loved The End of Suffering, Mishra's previous book, which looked at the progress of the historical Buddha in northern India 2500 years ago. Mishra effectively intertwined autobiographical details with that story, and he does the same, to powerful effect, in this closely observed look at nationalism, extremism and modernity in India, Pakistan, Tibet and Afghanistan. Mishra conveys what it feels like to be a citizen of the countries he visits, whether it's the aspiration and anxiety of movie industry hangers-on in Bombay or the bleak outlook of a family in the crossfire of Afghanistan.

This book is at the standard of the best non-fiction by VS Naipaul, though I find Mishra's take on Hindu nationalism to be more accurate than the Nobel laureate's.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dale evans on June 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Other reviewers have justly criticized the book's title and subtitle. Giving Mishra the benefit of the doubt, it is possible that the title was conjured up by the publisher, and, more likely, by someone who had not read the book. Reading it, I suspected that the publisher failed due diligence, as it apparently did not even assign an "editor" who was competent at the sentence level.

Such objections aside, the book provides a provocative insight into the complexities of the Indian subcontinent, with some helpful historical background and some fascinating first-person encounters with people involved in the events of the period during which the author did the journalistic investigation that was built into it.

As the events of the area are even today matters that should concern U.S. citizens, Mishra's book, for all its faults, is useful background reading, since much of what he describes is STILL being played out, disastrously for all concerned.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Farseem Mohammedy on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
This travelogue/reportage is extremely well written with very deep analysis of the social forces that rule these places of geopolitical importance. Mishra has invoked the history in brief for each place to explain why the society there is turning the events in some particular way. He also explains how the hegemonic powers are causing tension in the lives of the people living there. However the title is a total misnomer, and does not convey the true value of this book. This book does not give a list of "what to do's" if you travel those places. It reports what the author saw happening in those places, tried to get interviews of some key players and explains the socio-historic background of the regions.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?