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Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond Paperback – June 12, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
I was expecting a more socioanthropological text, but this a largely a collection of essays on politics. Mishra says these essays "seek to make the reader enter actual experience: of individuals ... and of the traveler" (i), but this goal is not realized by a number of the essays, which often offer page after grueling page of facts about Indian political history, for example, with no subheadings, no citations, no index, no individual or traveler narratives, and a certain amount of jumping around and repetition. The lack of an index is particularly annoying and makes the book useless as a reference should one want to use it for background when reading other authors of the subcontinent (Jhumpa Lahiri, for example).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just got the book and started reading it and it is very interesting.things that people go through in other countries and how they overcome it. This book is goodPublished on March 15, 2014 by rielle
The book contains treatises on the author's travels through India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and Tibet. Pankaj Mishra provides honest, fearless reports from the areas he visits. Read morePublished on July 20, 2013 by Danesh Zaki
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,... Read morePublished on June 3, 2011 by dale evans
This is Mishra's weakest book so far. First, the title of the book has no relation to its content. But that would have been forgivable if the content were OK. Read morePublished on September 29, 2008 by Freefall
This travelogue/reportage is extremely well written with very deep analysis of the social forces that rule these places of geopolitical importance. Read morePublished on October 23, 2007 by Farseem Mohammedy
Mishra is an Upper Caste Hindu Journalist who tries to show us the conditions of the States of the Indian Subcontinent as a result of Globalization and Modernization through his... Read morePublished on May 31, 2007 by Skylark Alauda Thibedeau
The author, an upper caste Indian, spends the book traveling throughout South-Asia from India to Pakistan to Nepal and Tibet. Read morePublished on December 23, 2006 by Amazon Customer
The impression of a travelogue created by the title and the blurbs is misleading. A more appropriate title would be something like: "A recent political history of the Indian... Read morePublished on December 22, 2006 by Mystic Wanderer