Today on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn host a discussion with Pankaj Mishra on his book From the Ruins of Empire, a history of Asia's intellectual response to Western imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th century. Also joining us for this wide-ranging discussion is Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chinese historian, frequently published columnist, and editor most recently of Chinese Characters, a collection of essays on Chinese individuals by many well-known China watchers.

Links to materials discussed are coming in the comments section below. In the meantime, let us remind you that it's easy to subscribe to Sinica through our RSS feed. To do this, simply click on the "Advanced" file menu in iTunes and select the option "Subscribe to Podcast". Copy the URL into the box when prompted. Or skip the whole fuss and just download this show as a standalone mp3 file for sharing with others.
 said on
October 19, 2012

Jeremy: Watch This Man - Pankaj Mishra's review of the book Civilisation: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

Jeffrey: The City & The City, by sci-fi writer China Miéville

Pankaj: Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land, edited by Angilee Shah and Jeffrey Wasserstrom

Kaiser: Is Mo Yan a stooge for the Chinese government? by Brendan O'Kane
 said on
October 21, 2012
Interesting podcast.

#1 I thought you guys were treating Mishra as more of an expert on China than he actually he is. I got the impression multiple times that he was forced to explain things to an audience better informed than himself.

#2 I didn't read the book, but what's the problem with global integration (besides the environmental problem)? If anything, it's good for, for lack of a better term, non-western peoples. Globalization has created a lot of opportunities for service jobs in India and manufacturing in China. Western unskilled employees and labor paid the price, not non-western peoples.

#3 Lastly, people, when talking about the west, need to make a distinction between western culture and consumer culture. They're superficially intertwined because the west has all the money, but if you think that the less fortunate people in Africa, Asia, and the Americas don't want iPhones, ferraris, and armani, you need to jump out the window of your ivory tower.
 said on
October 31, 2012
Just thought I would mention that it was quite interesting to see Mishra and Ferguson go at each other in the comments section of the review, by Mishra of Niall Ferguson's book, recommended by Jeremy above.

Plus, a couple of book reviews of Mishra's book for anybody interested:
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