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Answers Around Our ‘Age Of Anger’46:31

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Our age of anger. We’ll talk with big thinker Pankaj Mishra about the roots of today’s anger. He says it’s been a long time coming.

Riot police clash with taxi drivers and street sellers during a demonstration, in Rome, (Massimo Percossi/AP)
Riot police clash with taxi drivers and street sellers during a demonstration, in Rome, (Massimo Percossi/AP)

You could say it should be the best of times. A world more literate, interconnected, and prosperous that at any other time in history. And yet, there is so much anger out there. Why?  My guest today, Pankaj Mishra, draws a line from ISIS to Brexit to “Lock her up!” and Donald Trump. He sees a global rise in resentment, with roots that go back to the arguments of Voltaire and Rousseau and forward to what he calls mutiny. This hour On Point, Pankaj Mishra on our Age of Anger. — Tom Ashbrook


Pankaj Mishra, author and columnist. His latest book is “Age of Anger: A History of the Present.” Also author of “A Great Clamour,” “From the Ruins of Empire” and “An End To Suffering,” among many others.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Apocalypse Now: What’s Behind the Volatile Mood of Today’s American — and European — Voters — "Across the world, a spirit of anarchy is in bloom — an aimless desire to smash the liberal order, with only the distant, inchoate hope that a better world will emerge from the wreckage. That spirit apparently motivated many Trump voters, who didn’t mind that their tribune spoke in clownish generalities, possessed no relevant experience and exhibited an itchy trigger finger. Many of these voters admitted, with little compunction, that they wanted to implant his brash persona in the seat of power to shock the system, because the system deserved a shock."

Washington Post: Inside the anger that gave us Trump — and that will long outlast him -- "However long the Donald Trump presidency is with us — eight years, four years or less — the forces that propelled him to power will not dissipate with his departure. If anything, without Trump as a focal point galvanizing supporters and opponents, those forces may become harder to control, channel or even understand."

Vogue: The First Essential Read of the Trump Era Is Here — "How did we get to this troubling place? Mishra’s most fascinating argument is that we certainly can’t blame 9/11 or Al Qaeda or ISIS. We are not where we are because the modern enlightened West has been pitted against backwards-looking fundamentalists in the Middle East. Rather, the election of Donald Trump, the vote for Brexit, the rise of nationalism in Europe, and spectacular acts of Islamic terrorism are all of a piece."

Read An Excerpt Of "Age Of Anger" By Pankaj Mishra

This program aired on February 27, 2017.

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