Year Zero : A History of 1945

Year Zero : A History of 1945

Book - 2013
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A global history of the pivotal year 1945 as a new world emerged from the ruins of World War II. Regime change had come on a global scale: across Asia (including China, Korea, Indochina, and the Philippines, and of course Japan) and all of continental Europe. Out of the often vicious power struggles that ensued emerged the modern world as we know it. In human terms, the scale of transformation is almost impossible to imagine. Great cities around the world lay in ruins, their populations decimated, displaced, starving. Harsh revenge was meted out on a wide scale, and the ground was laid for much horror to come. At the same time, the euphoria of the liberated was extraordinary. The postwar years gave rise to the European welfare state, the United Nations, decolonization, Japanese pacifism, the European Union, and the Cold War.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : The Penguin Press, 2013
ISBN: 9781594204364
Branch Call Number: 940.5314 BURUM
Characteristics: 368 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Year 0


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Oct 11, 2016

I'm almost tempted to describe this book as a joyous, optimistic celebration of a world chastened and enlightened by war. Yes, its story is so important, I might stoop to mislead the light history enthusiast into reading this course of shock therapy between two covers. Buruma is an even-handed and witty writer, but he has created a work of deep anger and disdain for the illusions and pretensions that arrived with the peace, with which we still struggle today. To be blunt, the world after WW II was almost as bad as during WW II, and it is truly astonishing that we have been able to rebuild and progress as far as we have.


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