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Greg Wilmoth
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Just finished Year Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Buruma (The Penguin Press, 2013). A quirky book broadly organized by topics instead of chronologically. Chapter titles include "Exultation" (how people celebrated), "Revenge" (settling scores with enemies and collaborators), and "Draining the Poison" (removal of Nazis and Japanese militarists from important positions--or not). A fair amount of sex and violence in the early chapters, frequently mixed together.

For the purposes of Churchill the insights on Big Three cooperation and conflict are interesting. Different approaches to de-nazification, the Nuremberg Trials, and the reshaping German culture. Curiously there's little information on the Yalta or Potsdam Conferences. But there are brief descriptions of the Bretton Woods Conference (July 1944)and the Dumbarton Oaks Conference (August-October 1944), and fairly extensive coverage of the political maneuvering at the San Francisco Conference of the United Nations (April-June 1945). And the author also describes the breakdown of cooperation at the Foreign Ministers Conference in London (September 1945), which John Foster Dulles apparently called the beginning of the Cold War.

All-in-all an interesting book with broad coverage of the immediate post-war world, but probably better at giving an impression and feel for the period rather than detailed coverage. Still, I think most Churchill fans would enjoy it.
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Wendell
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Greg Wilmoth wrote:
Just finished Year Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Buruma (The Penguin Press, 2013).


I read that a couple of years ago, and agree it's interesting.
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