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Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 12. Juni 2007

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Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond + From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia + Die Romantischen
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  • Taschenbuch: 323 Seiten
  • Verlag: Picador; Auflage: Reprint (12. Juni 2007)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0312426410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312426415
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 1,9 x 21,6 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 147.824 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"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


From Bollywood stars in Bombay worrying whether they are sexy enough to a heroin addict in Pakistan mocking jihad; from Indian mafia dons with political ambitions to Afghans waiting for American benevolence; from Kashmiri Muslims longing for democracy to Tibetan Buddhists fighting to preserve religion in politics "Temptations of the West" is a travel book unlike any other. In a narrative as revealing as it is profound, Pankaj Mishra's new book dissolves the old boundaries between East and West, challenging every romantic cliche about the conflicts and dilemmas at the heart of the modern world. 'Mishra offers a compelling blend of memoir, narrative history, politics, religion and philosophy. Thoughtful, intelligent and rigorous, this is a deep, insightful study of the very notion of modernity.' - "Observer". 'Mishra is a precise observer and a subtle analyst, keener to understand than to blame ...In a thousand details such as the grimace he catches on the face of a sycophantic businessman as a politician's bodyguard rinses curry-stained hands in his swimming pool he salutes humanity's paradoxes and wit.' - "The Economist". 'Wonderful.

The narrative is interspersed with sophisticated cultural commentary ...and, if anything, the point of this important book is to collapse fallacious distinctions between East and West' - "Conde Nast Traveller". -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von DesiBe am 25. Oktober 2009
Format: Taschenbuch
Temptations of the West is a poetic journey through India and Pakistan and an incisive observation of the processes of globalization and Hindu nationalism which have hugely affected the subcontinent and changed both its social and political culture. Mishra shrewdly observes his compatriots in their strife for money and power albeit without pointing the finger. The author takes care to present the Kashmir conflict from all angles so that instead of simplifying the issue - and thus taking sides - Mishra presents it as an inextricable knot of (party) politics,
religion, economic competition, and personal vendettas.
The book is not for those seeking ready explanations and judgements but for those who wish to explore the subcontinent and learn to understand its culture and people bit by bit.
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Amazon.com: 15 Rezensionen
26 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Journalist in the Back Alleys 29. Oktober 2006
Von John Sollami - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
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.
17 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Title and contents don't match 1. Dezember 2006
Von India Reader - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
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.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Worth reading, its an eye-opener 14. Juli 2007
Von L. Wittke - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
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.
6 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Riveting, important reporting on South Asia 21. Oktober 2006
Von RoadToMandalay - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
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.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Effects of Globalization on the Indian Sub Continent Through the Eyes of a Brahmin Journalist. 31. Mai 2007
Von Skylark Thibedeau - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
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 eyes and experiences. We follow him as he interacts with people in different castes, politics, Bollywood Entertainment, the Police, the Military, Militias, education, and simple peasants.

We get a history of Indian/Pakistani Politics since 1948 from his experiences. We get a simple understanding of how India has florished while Pakistan has floundered. Of how the Congress party of Nehru and the Gandhi's have been overcome by the rise of Hindu Nationalist parties like the BJP.

He visits the Kashmir and we can see how it became India's Northern Ireland with the exception that both sides are armed with nuclear weapons. The Troubles there are similar but the killing is magnified 10 fold as no human rights groups manitor the Indian nor the Pakistani armies for human rights violations.

We get a glimpse of the Bollywood scene in Mumbai. How it is similar to the Holywood Studio system of the 40's(maybe the 30's as each film seems to have a song and dance number). We get an understanding of what is acceptable on film in that culture and why there was such a hue and cry recently over Richard Gere's kiss in public.

Mishra's strength is that he lets his subjects tell the story of their lives and how the World has changed around them. His most compelling sections are where he relates his own life experiences. I recommend the book as an excellent glimpse into the cultures of South Central Asia.
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