Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we'll unlock the book Year Zero: A History of 1945.
On the first day of September 1939, shellfire swept across the European continent with lightning speed. It then spread to all corners of the world, including Asia, the Atlantic, and the Pacific. The most massive war in human history enshrouded 61 countries and more than 2 billion people around the world in the smoke of gunpowder. It didn't end until 1945.
In the eyes of the author, Ian Buruma, the year of victory 1945 was year zero for the beginning of the modern world, namely the starting point of the New World. Buruma is a famous writer from the Netherlands. His father is Dutch, and his mother is a German Jew living in Great Britain. Due to his cross-cultural family background, Ian, who was born in a time of peace, developed a keen interest in world history.
He once studied at Leiden University in the Netherlands, majoring in Chinese literature and history. He then lived in Asia for many years and mastered six languages: English, German, Dutch, French, Japanese, and Chinese. This experience gave him a unique perspective in writing that goes beyond the bounds of race and history. His books always focus on the forgotten corners of history. He doesn't write to praise the great men of the past whom we all know very well. Instead, he boldly pulled back the veil and composed little-known historical repertoires one after another. The Year Zero: A History of 1945, which we will uncover today, will lead us through the year 1945, a world of complete devastation, after the war.
The year 1945, the author argues, wasn't just the year of victory over the Fascists. In this year, we saw the lust for liberty that people were wildly celebrating after liberation. Everyone reveled in the intoxicating joy of celebration. Meanwhile, both the victorious and defeated sides suffered from hunger; but the side that was occupied and slaughtered during the war also felt determined to avenge themselves. Additionally, the New World had arrived, and nothing would be the same as before. People's minds were awakened by the baptism of shellfire, and various conflicts collided in year zero. At the intersection of the new and old world, everything was complicated and volatile.
What did the beginning of the modern new world look like in 1945? How can we prevent history from repeating itself? The Year Zero: A History of 1945, the book we will discuss today, will clear up these questions. Next, we'll discuss its core contents in three sections:
Section One, after World War II, what were the conditions like around the world?
Section Two, Clearing up the post-war rubble
Section Three, how to prevent history from repeating itself.