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Anglomania

by Ian Buruma

"Imaginative, original--wittily written."--The Washington Post Book WorldTo some, England has long represented tolerance, reason, and political moderation. To others, it is a moribund bastion of snobbery and outdated tradition. In this lively and diverting social history, noted author Ian Buruma, himself the son of Dutch immigrants to England, provides an incisive look at anglophilia--and anglophobia--over the last two centuries.From passionate enthusiasts like Voltaire and Goethe, to exiles like Garibaldi and Herzen, to colorful England-bashers like Napoleon, Marx, and Kaiser Wilhelm II, Anglomania gives a sharply satirical account of Europe's sometimes comical, sometimes deadly prejudices, and explains why England's individuality and her relationship with Europe is still vitally important as we enter the twenty-first century.

Asesinato en Amsterdam

by Ian Buruma

El asesinato del cineasta Theo van Gogh, el 2 de noviembre de 2004, supuso un terremoto para la sociedad holandesa. Su crimen había sido filmar una película documental con Ayaan Hirsi Ali, diputada holandesa de origen somalí y una de las principales críticas del islam, sobre todo en lo relacionado a la cuestión de la mujer. Junto al cadáver de Van Gogh parecía agonizar el sueño holandés, y por extensión europeo, de una sociedad multicultural capaz de absorber a los inmigrantes que acuden en busca de una vida mejor. El prestigioso escritor e intelectual angloholandés Ian Buruma toma este asesinato como punto de partida para una vibrante obra, mitad reportaje mitad ensayo, en la que se enfrenta con las medias verdades, los cinismos, los problemas y las vanas esperanzas de Europa ante las nuevas migraciones, y qué mejor país para hacerlo que Holanda, en el que el 45 por ciento de los habitantes son de origen extranjero y cuyas políticas de integración y multiculturalismo eran vistas como un modelo. «Un reportaje puede ser una obra de arte, si su autor escribe con elegancia y eficacia, documenta con rigor sus informaciones y las organiza con la precisión y la astucia de un buen novelista. Es lo que ha hecho Ian Buruma en Asesinato en Amsterdam, un libro que se lee como una novela de suspenso aunque en él no haya fantasía y sí historia viva, y hunda sus raíces en la más candente actualidad.» MARIO VARGAS LLOSA, El País

Bad Elements

by Ian Buruma

'Ian Buruma is a man to read with interest, profit and care . . . He succeeds triumphantly in demonstrating that 'the Chinese . . . are not utterly unlike us, whoever we may be, and that freedom from torture, persecution, and spiritual and intellectual coercion is a common desire among all human beings and not merely a Western notion'. ' Chris Patten The TimesIn Bad Elements, Ian Buruma goes behind conventional news stories of economic growth, megacities and the Olympic Games, to see today's China though the stories of its dissidents: ordinary, brave people who oppose a regime that uses repression in the name of social order. He travels through the US, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the People's Republic, to tell the stories of the rebels who dare to stand up to their rulers. From the exiles of Tiananmen to hidden Christians of rural China, he brings alive the human dimension to their struggles and reveals the world's most secretive superpower through the eyes of it opponents. Panoramic and intimate, disturbing and inspiring, Bad Elements is a profound meditation on the themes of national identity and political struggle. It is a relevant and timely account of China at street level. 'The tales of courage, sacrifice and integrity in Buruma's book are inspiring. He has done an excellent job of tracking down former Chinese dissidents, not only those from Tiananmen Square but other rebels who have suffered persecution in Taiwan and Singapore. ' Nick Rufford, Sunday Times'China is on the move, Ian Buruma is a leading writer on Asia, and his is an important book . . . A pungent book about the lack of democracy in Asia. ' George Walden, Sunday Telegraph'A judicious, sparkling readable book. ' Terry Eagleton, Irish Times

Conversations with John Schlesinger

by Ian Buruma

"I like the surprise of the curtain going up, revealing what's behind it." -John Schlesinger. The British director John Schlesinger was one of the cinema's most dynamic and influential artists. Now, in Conversations with John Schlesinger, acclaimed writer Ian Buruma, Schlesinger's nephew, reveals the director's private world in a series of in-depth interviews conducted in the later years of the director's life. Here they discuss the impact of Schlesinger's personal life on his art. As his films so readily demonstrate, Schlesinger is a wonderful storyteller, and he serves up fascinating and provocative recollections of growing up in a Jewish family during World War II, his sexual coming-of-age as a gay man in conformist 1950s England, his emergence as an artist in the "Swinging 60s," and the roller-coaster ride of his career as one of the most prominent Hollywood directors of his time. Schlesinger also discusses his artistic philosophy and approach to filmmaking, recounting stories from the sets of his masterpieces, including Midnight Cowboy; Sunday, Bloody Sunday; Marathon Man; and The Day of the Locust. He shares what it was like to direct such stars as Dustin Hoffman, John Voight, Sean Penn, Madonna, and Julie Christie (whom Schlesinger is credited with discovering) and offers his thoughts on the fickle nature of fame and success in Hollywood. Packed with wit and keen insight into the artistic mind, Conversations with John Schlesinger is not just the candid story of a dynamic and eventful life but the true measure of an extraordinary person.

Inventing Japan

by Ian Buruma

In a single short book as elegant as it is wise, Ian Buruma makes sense of the most fateful span of Japan's history, the period that saw as dramatic a transformation as any country has ever known. In the course of little more than a hundred years from the day Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in his black ships, this insular, preindustrial realm mutated into an expansive military dictatorship that essentially supplanted the British, French, Dutch, and American empires in Asia before plunging to utter ruin, eventually emerging under American tutelage as a pseudo-Western-style democracy and economic dynamo.What explains the seismic changes that thrust this small island nation so violently onto the world stage? In part, Ian Buruma argues, the story is one of a newly united nation that felt it must play catch-up to the established Western powers, just as Germany and Italy did, a process that involved, in addition to outward colonial expansion, internal cultural consolidation and the manufacturing of a shared heritage. But Japan has always been both particularly open to the importation of good ideas and particularly prickly about keeping their influence quarantined, a bipolar disorder that would have dramatic consequences and that continues to this day. If one book is to be read in order to understand why the Japanese seem so impossibly strange to many Americans, Inventing Japan is surely it.From the Hardcover edition.

The Missionary and the Libertine

by Ian Buruma

From Naipaul's India to the last days of Hong Kong, and from the ghosts of Pearl Harbor to Benazir Bhutto, Buruma delivers an engaging and incisive look at the ways East and West understand-and misunderstand-each other. At home in both worlds, Buruma traverses the realms of journalism, literary criticism, and political analysis, to examine the dialogue of fact and fantasy that affects our perception of far-away lands. Whether deconstructing the films of Satyajit Ray or the novels of Yoshimoto Banana, Buruma offers a splendid counterbalance to fashionable theories of clashing civilizations and uniquely Asian values. In twenty-five illuminating, often humorous essays, The Missionary and the Libertine shows us why Buruma's reputation for writing the most compelling commentary on the faultlines of the East-West divide is so secure.

Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance

by Ian Buruma

IAN BURUMA RETURNS TO HIS NATIVE LAND TO EXPLORE, THROUGH THE STORY OF THE MURDER OF A FAMOUS FILMMAKER AT THE HANDS OF AN ISLAMIC EXTREMIST, THE GREAT DILEMMA OF OUR TIME IT WAS THE EMBLEMATIC CRIME of our moment: On a cold November day in Amsterdam, an angry young Muslim man, Mohammed Bouyeri, the son of Moroccan immigrants, shot and killed the celebrated and controversial Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, great-grandnephew of Vincent and iconic European provocateur, for making a movie with the Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali that "insulted the prophet Mohammed." After Bouyeri shot Van Gogh, he calmly stood over the body and cut his throat with a curved machete, as if performing a ritual sacrifice, which in a very real sense he was. The murder horrified quiet, complacent, prosperous Holland, a country that prides itself on being a bastion of tolerance, and sent shock waves across Europe and around the world. Shortly thereafter, Ian Buruma returned to the country of his childhood to investigate the event and its larger meaning. The result is his masterpiece: a book with the intimacy and narrative control of a crime novel and the analytical brilliance for which Buruma is renowned. Ian Buruma's entire life's work has led him to this story. the tale of what happens when political Islam collides with the secular West, and tolerance finds its limits.

The New York Review Abroad

by Ian Buruma Robert B. Silvers

For the past fifty years, The New York Review of Books has covered virtually every international revolution and movement of consequence by dispatching the world's most brilliant writers to write eyewitness accounts. The New York Review Abroad not only brings together twenty-eight of the most riveting of these pieces but includes epilogues that update and reassess the political situation (by either the original authors or by Ian Buruma). Among the pieces included are: * Susan Sontag's personal narrative of staging Waiting for Godot in war-torn Sarajevo * Alma Guillermoprieto's report from inside Colombia's guerrilla headquarters and her disturbing encounter with young female fighters * Ryszard Kapuscinski's terrifying description of being set on fire while running roadblocks in Nigeria * Caroline Blackwood's coverage of the 1979 gravediggers' strike in Liverpool--a noir mini-masterpiece * Timothy Garton Ash's minute-by-minute account from the Magic Lantern theater in Prague in 1989, where the subterranean stage, auditorium, foyers, and dressing rooms had become the headquarters of the revolution Among other writers whose New York Review pieces will be included are Tim Judah, Amos Elon, Joan Didion, William Shawcross, Christopher de Bellaigue, and Mark Danner. A tour de force of vivid and enlightening writing from the front lines, this volume is indeed the first rough draft of the history of the past fifty years.

Taming the Gods

by Ian Buruma

For eight years the president of the United States was a born-again Christian, backed by well-organized evangelicals who often seemed intent on erasing the church-state divide. In Europe, the increasing number of radicalized Muslims is creating widespread fear that Islam is undermining Western-style liberal democracy. And even in polytheistic Asia, the development of democracy has been hindered in some countries, particularly China, by a long history in which religion was tightly linked to the state. Ian Buruma is the first writer to provide a sharp-eyed look at the tensions between religion and politics on three continents. Drawing on many contemporary and historical examples, he argues that the violent passions inspired by religion must be tamed in order to make democracy work. Comparing the United States and Europe, Buruma asks why so many Americans--and so few Europeans--see religion as a help to democracy. Turning to China and Japan, he disputes the notion that only monotheistic religions pose problems for secular politics. Finally, he reconsiders the story of radical Islam in contemporary Europe, from the case of Salman Rushdie to the murder of Theo van Gogh. Sparing no one, Buruma exposes the follies of the current culture war between defenders of "Western values" and "multiculturalists," and explains that the creation of a democratic European Islam is not only possible, but necessary. Presenting a challenge to dogmatic believers and dogmatic secularists alike,Taming the Godspowerfully argues that religion and democracy can be compatible--but only if religious and secular authorities are kept firmly apart.

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