Temptations of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, Oct 12, 2011 - Travel - 448 pages

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 cliché 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’ Condé Nast Traveller

What people are saying - Write a review

TEMPTATIONS OF THE WEST: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond

User Review  - Kirkus

Novelist and New York Review of Books regular Mishra (An End to Suffering, 2004, etc.) blends reportage with travel memoir in a riveting collection of essays about religion, poverty and political ... Read full review

Temptations of the West: how to be modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet and beyond

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Mishra, a Hindu Indian journalist and novelist (The Romantics ), here provides first-person reporting of major turmoil in eight Asian countries in recent years. These are standalone chapters: covered ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

Pankaj Mishra was born in North India, in 1969. He is the author of Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India; a novel, The Romantics, which won the LA Times Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction; and a highly acclaimed book about the Buddha, An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World. Mishra writes for several publications, including the New York Review of Books, the New Statesman, Granta, the Times Literary Supplement and the Guardian.

Bibliographic information