"[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."
"[An] insightful meditation on the world's emergence from the wreckage of World War II. Buruma offers a vivid portrayal of the first steps toward normalcy in human affairs amid the ruins of Europe and Asia...Authoritative, illuminating."
"In 1945, the war ended, but a new world began. Taken and destroyed cities were transformed; the liberated celebrated; scores were settled; people starved; justice was and was not meted out; soldiers and refugees came home; suffering ended, or continued, or began anew. An eclectic scholar who has written on religion, democracy, and war, Buruma presents a panoramic view of a global transformation and emphasizes common themes: exultation, hunger, revenge, homecoming, renewed confidence. Though there was great cause for pessimism, many of the institutions established in the immediate postwar period--the United Nations, the modern European welfare state, the international criminal-justice system--reflected profound optimism that remains unmatched. Buruma's facility with Asian history lends this selection a particularly internationalized perspective. But it is the story of his father--a Dutch man who returned home in 1945 after being forced into factory labor by the Nazis--that sews the various pieces together and provides a moving personal touch."
"A brilliant recreation of that decisive year of victory and defeat, chaos and humiliation, concentrating on peoples, not states. 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 Germanshow more