1 Book review: "From The Ruins of Empire" by Pankaj Mishra

Author writes in the prologue of this book, “The form of this book – part historical essay and part intellectual biography – is primarily motivated by the conviction that the lines of history converge in individual lives, even though the latter have their own shape and momentum.

I would like to append few more lines to this statement of Author. There is a difference between “a story” and “the history”: While a sequence of events is an essential part of both of them; it is the human emotions pervasively knitted into the events differentiating former with the later. What if, if a book of history is written with insidious human’s emotion. It is ought to be as interesting as “a story”. My book review should end by saying that Author did a wonderful job of managing his emotions marvelously to an extent that readers have to put an effort to find if it is there at all. Yet, emotions work brilliantly keeping the reader engaged. I felt as if, the author witnessed all the events he mentioned in the book himself. This demonstrates the author’s skill of storytelling.

Story would never come into its native shape, unless the author has a landscape view of all sequence of events and he/she understands the impact of events on each other. Understanding thousands of sequence of events of Asia of last many centuries, relating them to each other and finding relevant events which contributed to the remaking of Asia from ruins of its empire is not so easy. The author did it wonderfully which demonstrates that he had done tremendous amount of hard work in understanding the events. 

Yes, the author writes about the circumstances that lead to the remaking of Asia. Collective sequence of events of Asia has never been studied as a single entity. It starts with the ambition of Napolean of conquering and ruling Egypt. Chapter-2 deals with the Pan-Islamic Nationalism flourishing without any geographical boundary. Rise of Japan is uniquely described in third chapter. Liberal Internationalism of United States is presented seemingly dangerous for the democracy of the world. Author questions whether this is contributing to the decline of west. Rabindranath Tagore is given full attention and projected as the intellectual motivator in the neighboring country, China. To the best of my knowledge, impact of Ranbindranath Tagore has never been studied like this which is presented in fifth chapter. This becomes my favorite chapter of this book. Sixth chapter is politico-economical preamble of the rising of Asia.

This book reminds me of “Wonder that was India!”. A history is written as a story where author interacts with his reader emotionally without letting them “feels” he is doing so. This book is essential for those, who have deep interest in history but no time for going through series of boring text books. This book is especially good for all those young people who want to see the future of Asia in this era of globalization. Yes, one can see the future of Asia through its past and all thanks should go to the author. 

Let me admit that I read this book in haste and I need to read it once again. Thanks should also go to Flipkart who delivered it within 24 hours.

Book review: "From The Ruins of Empire" : The Revolt against west and remaking of Asia. -by Pankaj Mishra

1 comment:

  1. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.


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