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Can we trace our age of anger back to the enlightenment?

Pankaj Mishra's breathless attempt to root the political anger engulfing the world in the 18th century is too sweeping

By Stefan Collini   February 2017

A student confronts a policeman in a 2009 protest against tuition fees in London ©Peter MacDiarmid/Getty Images

Age of Anger: A History of the Present, by Pankaj Mishra (Allen Lane, £20)

The constant temptation in immediate commentary on world events is to overreact and overexplain. At the moment, we are being told that our world has been turned upside down, that democracy doesn’t work, that human motivation has changed, that evidence has ceased…

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