A very uneven, frustrating book. Some great research and some fascinating background material, but also at times very shoddy. Although presented as an introduction to the issues, it is not actually a good place to start if you aren't already familiar with the history of, among other things the Ottoman Empire or Iran or India or Japan. A better book is waiting to be written on the same topic.
in response to the person who found serious deficiencies in this book...there is another book with the same title (perhaps coming first) but with a different subtitle; THE REVOLT AGAINST THE WEST AND THE REMAKING OF ASIA . Reviewing it on amazon.ca it has an excellent prologue which would be important in reading the book. I ordered it because it is the kind of book I may not read all at once and want to reread later or pass along.
In response to the person giving the CBC interview information...thank-you.
This is an important effort, but I found Mishra's prose style choppy and the level of detail cumbersome. Since it's meant to function as an introduction to the topic, these are serious deficiencies. I felt hampered by my lack of background in the subject and frustrated by an extremely poor index that made it almost impossible to revisit the author's earlier descriptions of items when they were mentioned again. I'm glad I finished the book, but it was a slog.
The author was interviewed on the CBC Radio "The Current" program on Tuesday, September 25, 2012. Listen to the interview at: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2012/09/25/from-the-ruins-of-empire-pankaj-mishra/ Mishra was asked to comment on the six "killer apps" enumerated by historian Niall Ferguson in his book "Civilization: the West and the rest".
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