Year Zero by Ian Buruma audiobook

Year Zero: A History of 1945

By Ian Buruma
Read by Gildart Jackson

Blackstone Publishing 9781594204364
14.47 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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Year Zero is a landmark reckoning with the greatdrama that ensued after war came to an end in 1945. One world had ended and anew, uncertain one was beginning. Regime change had come across Asia and all of continental Europe. It was the greatest global powervacuum in history, and out of the often vicious power struggles thatensued emerged the modern world as we know it. In human terms, the scale of transformation is almostimpossible to imagine. Great cities around the world lay in ruins, theirpopulations decimated, displaced, starving. Harsh revenge was meted out on awide scale, and the ground was laid for much darkness to come. At the sametime, in the wake of unspeakable loss, the euphoria of the liberated wasextraordinary, the revelry unprecedented. The postwar years gave rise to the Europeanwelfare state, the United Nations, American democracy, Japanese pacifism, andthe European Union. Society-wide reeducation was imposed on the vanquished on ascale that had no historical precedent. Much that was done was ill-advised, butin hindsight these efforts were relatively enlightened, humane, and effective. A poignant grace note throughout his history is Buruma’s ownfather’s story. Seized by the Nazis during the occupation of Holland, he spentmuch of the war in Berlin as a slave laborer and by war’s end was literallyhiding in the rubble of a flattened city, having barely managed to survivestarvation rations, Allied bombing, and Soviet shock troops when the end came.His journey home and attempted reentry into “normalcy” stand in many ways forhis generation’s experience. A work of enormous range and stirring human drama,conjuring both the Asian and European theaters with equal fluency, YearZero is a book that Ian Buruma is perhaps uniquely positioned to write.

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Summary

Summary

New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books, 2013

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

A 2014 ALA Notable Book for Adult Nonficiton

Year Zero is a landmark reckoning with the greatdrama that ensued after war came to an end in 1945. One world had ended and anew, uncertain one was beginning. Regime change had come across Asia and all of continental Europe. It was the greatest global powervacuum in history, and out of the often vicious power struggles thatensued emerged the modern world as we know it.

In human terms, the scale of transformation is almostimpossible to imagine. Great cities around the world lay in ruins, theirpopulations decimated, displaced, starving. Harsh revenge was meted out on awide scale, and the ground was laid for much darkness to come. At the sametime, in the wake of unspeakable loss, the euphoria of the liberated wasextraordinary, the revelry unprecedented. The postwar years gave rise to the Europeanwelfare state, the United Nations, American democracy, Japanese pacifism, andthe European Union. Society-wide reeducation was imposed on the vanquished on ascale that had no historical precedent. Much that was done was ill-advised, butin hindsight these efforts were relatively enlightened, humane, and effective.

A poignant grace note throughout his history is Buruma’s ownfather’s story. Seized by the Nazis during the occupation of Holland, he spentmuch of the war in Berlin as a slave laborer and by war’s end was literallyhiding in the rubble of a flattened city, having barely managed to survivestarvation rations, Allied bombing, and Soviet shock troops when the end came.His journey home and attempted reentry into “normalcy” stand in many ways forhis generation’s experience.

A work of enormous range and stirring human drama,conjuring both the Asian and European theaters with equal fluency, YearZero is a book that Ian Buruma is perhaps uniquely positioned to write.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Ian Buruma’s lively new history, Year Zero, is about the various ways in which the aftermath of the Good War turned out badly for many people and splendidly for some who didn’t deserve it. It is enriched by his knowledge of six languages, a sense of personal connection to the era (his Dutch father was a forced laborer in Berlin), and his understanding of this period from a book he wrote two decades ago that is still worth reading, The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan.” New York Times Book Review
“A very human history.” New Yorker
Year Zero…covers a great deal of history without minimizing the complexity of the events and the issues. It is well written and researched, full of little-known facts and incisive political analysis. What makes it unique among hundreds of other works written about this period is that it gives an overview of the effects of the war and liberation, not only in Europe but also in Asia…A stirring account of the year in which the world woke up to the horror of what had just occurred and—while some new horrors were being committed—began to reflect on how to make sure that it never happens again.” New York Review of Books
“[Buruma] makes a compelling case that many of the modern triumphs and traumas yet to come took root in this fateful year of retribution, revenge, suffering, and healing.” Smithsonian
“Buruma presents a panoramic view of a global transformation and emphasizes common themes: exultation, hunger, revenge, homecoming, renewed confidence.” Booklist
“Insightful meditation on the world’s emergence from the wreckage of World War II…Recounting the occupations of Germany and Japan and life in the Allied nations, Buruma finds that the war was a great leveler, eliminating inequalities in Great Britain and rooting out feudal customs and habits in Japan. Despite much longing for a new world under global government, postwar life was shaped not by moral ideals but by the politics of the Cold War. An authoritative, illuminating history/memoir.” Kirkus Reviews
“Gripping, poignant and unsparing, Year Zero is worthy of its author in being at home in both Europe and Asia. It is a book at once deeply empathetic and utterly fair, marked by wisdom and great knowledge; the often personal tone inspired by the fate of his father, a Dutchman forced into German labor camps. In the face of so much horror, it is an astounding effort at deep comprehension. A superb book, splendidly written.” Fritz Stern, university professor emeritus, Columbia University
“Year Zero is the founding moment of the modern era. Ian Buruma’s history of that moment is vivid, compassionate, and compelling…His story takes in the world: from Holland to Japan, and his heroes and heroines are the ordinary men and women who picked up the pieces of a broken world and put it back together for their children and grandchildren.” Michael Ignatieff, Canadian author, academic, and former politician

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Ian Buruma

Author Bio: Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College. His books include The China Lover, Murder in Amsterdam, Occidentalism,God’s Dust, Behind the Mask, The Wages of Guilt, Bad Elements, and Taming the Gods.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 14.47
Audience: Adult
Language: English