LA Times Book Award winner and expert on the past and present Japan, Ian Buruma examines the transformation of a country. Following Japan's history from its opening to the West in 1853 to its hosting of the 1964 Olympics, Buruma focuses on how figures such as Commodore Matthew Perry, Douglas MacArthur, and Emperor Mitsushito helped shape this complex country.
"Excellent Primer on Modern Japan"
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.
"Great historical overview"
Winifred and Bernard inherited the high European cultural ideals and attitudes that came of being born into prosperous German-Jewish émigré families. To young Ian, who would visit from Holland every Christmas, they seemed the very essence of England, their spacious Berkshire estate the model of genteel English country life at its most pleasant and refined. It wasn't until years later that he discovered how much more there was to the story.
"Prisoners" by George Packer; "Mind Games" by John Cassidy; "In the Waiting Room" by David Sedaris; "War and Remembrance" by Ian Buruma; "Hugger Mugger" by John Updike; "Her Debut" by Tad Friend; and "Inescapable Pasts" by David Denby.