New Delhi, Apr 11 (PTI) Pankaj Mishra's "Age of Anger: A History of the Present", which seeks to explore the origin of "the great wave of paranoid hatreds", has made it to the longlist of the 3000-pound Orwell Prize, Britain's most prestigious award for political writing.
Every year, the Orwell Foundation awards prizes for the work which comes closest to George Orwell's ambition 'to make political writing into an art'. Besides the book prize, there are also the journalism prize and the prize for exposing Britain's social evils.
Among other authors in the longlist are Ali Smith ("Winter"), Laurie Penny ("Bitch Doctrine"), Reni Eddo-Lodge "Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race"), Mark Mazower ("What You Did Not Tell"), Clair Wills ("Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain") and Chris Renwick ("Bread for All: The Origins of the Welfare State").
"The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason" by Christopher de Bellaigue, "Threads from the Refugee Crisis" by Kate Evans, "Testosterone Rex" by Cordelia Fine, "The Road to Somewhere - The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics" by David Goodhart, and "Poverty Safari" by Darren McGarvey complete the longlist.
The shortlist will be announced on May 18 and the winner on June 25.
The jury comprised politician-writer Lord Andrew Adonis, critic Alex Clark, writer-lawyer Kit de Waal and journalist Lorien Kite.
In "Age of Anger", published by Penguin, Mishra casts his gaze back to the 18th century, before leading us to the present.
He shows that as the world became modern those who were unable to fulfil its promises - freedom, stability and prosperity - were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world or were left, or pushed, behind, reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence.
It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the 19th century arose - angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally.
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