Past Event

From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia

The Harold Washington Library Center presents Pankaj Mishra who will be discussing and signing his new book, From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia. He presents the reader with a surprising, gripping narrative depicting the thinkers whose ideas shaped contemporary China, India, and the Muslim world. Those thinkers—Tagore, Gandhi, and later Nehru in India; Liang Qichao and Sun Yatsen in China; Jamal al-Din al-Afghani and Abdurreshi al Ibrahim in the ruins of the Ottoman Empire—are seen as outriders from the main anticolonial tradition. But Pankaj Mishra shows that it was otherwise in this stereotype-shattering book. His enthralling group portrait of like minds scattered across a vast continent makes clear that modern Asia’s revolt against the West is not the one led by faith-fired terrorists and thwarted peasants but one with deep roots in the work of thinkers who devised a view of life that was neither modern nor antimodern, neither colonialist nor anticolonialist. In broad, deep, dramatic chapters, Mishra tells the stories of these figures, unpacks their philosophies, and reveals their shared goal of a greater Asia.

Pankaj Mishra was born in India in 1969 and lives in London and Mashobra, India. The author of An End to Suffering and Temptations of the West, as well as a novel, The Romantics, he writes for The New YorkerThe New York Review of BooksThe New York Times Book Review, and The Guardian.

Books are available for purchase at this event and Mr. Mishra will autograph books at the conclusion of the program.

Co-sponsored by The Public Square and Truthout.




For more information, please call (312) 747-4300.