Magazine article Foreign Policy

86 Pankaj Mishra: For Charting the Intellectual Rise of the East-Without the West

Magazine article Foreign Policy

86 Pankaj Mishra: For Charting the Intellectual Rise of the East-Without the West

Article excerpt

Writer | Britain

For Americans, world events inevitably come colored through a Western prism, whether it's believing that the American ideal of democracy inspired the Arab Spring or that China's economy will stall without opening more to the West. And that's not surprising: The West dominated the 20th century, and today nearly every society "seems at least partially Westernized, or aspiring towards a form of Western modernity," as Pankaj Mishra writes in his provocative 2012 book, From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia. But Mishra reminds us, "there was a time when the West merely denoted a geographical region, and other peoples unselfconsciously assumed a universal order centered in their values."

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Mishra, an Indian-born novelist and essayist, offers the rare ability to write both knowledgeably and critically about the continent of his birth--and for a largely Western audience. At his day job, he pens columns for Bloomberg View on Asia's shifting role in today's geopolitical climate. …

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