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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