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Zarathustra's MyC-SPAN

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    Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy

    Eri Hotta, former research fellow at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, talked about her book, Japan 1941: Countdown to Infamy, in which she examines the attack on Pearl Harbor and entry into World War II from the Japanese perspective. In her book, she recounts the inner deliberations that led to the attack, which included many who wished to avoid war but continue Japan’s territorial expansion and a fractured political landscape that included two authorities, the emperor and the civilian government. Eri Hotta spoke with historian Ian Buruma at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York City.

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    Year Zero

    Ian Buruma, professor of democracy, human rights, and journalism at Bard College, talked about his book, Year Zero: A History of 1945, in which he examines the world following the end of World War II. In his book, the author looks at the transformative nature of the war, from the displacement of people in battle worn cities throughout Europe and Japan to the creation of the United Nations and the continued rise of communism in the Soviet Union and China. Ian Buruma spoke with author Martin Amis at the New York Public Library in New York City.

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    Murder in Amsterdam

    Ian Buruma talked about his book Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance, published by Penguin Press. He read excerpts from his book. Professor Buruma talked about the tension between the Dutch natives and the Muslim immigrants living in the Netherlands, focusing on the 2004 murder of media personality Theo van Gogh. Mr. Van Gogh’s murderer, a Muslim, targeted the outspoken Dutchman because he created a documentary criticizing the treatment of women under Islam. The author used this case to argue against the commonly-held idea that Holland is a very tolerant nation. After his presentation he responded to audience members' questions.

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    Ian Buruma talked about the book he co-authored with Avishai Margalit, Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies, published by Penguin Books. In the book the authors examined what they viewed as the “anti-Western virus” in Islam and argued that these feelings of anti-Americanism were shared throughout the world. After a discussion with Fouad Ajami, Professor Buruma answered questions from members of the audience.

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    Future of Iraq

    Foreign policy analysts talked about the future of Iraq and governing Iraq without President Saddam Hussein. Among the topics they addressed were the current government’s intelligence operations and its potential impact on future Iraqi society. Following their remarks they answered questions from the audience.

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    Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels

    Ian Buruma talked about his book Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing, published by Random House. The book is about Chinese pro-democracy dissidents around the world. Mr. Buruma assessed the possibility of democracy emerging in China and reviewed the arguments against such an outcome. Mr. Buruma answered questions following his talk. Mr. Buruma is also the author of God’s Dust: A Modern Asian Journey, Behind the Mask and The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan. He was formerly an editor at the Far Eastern Economic Review.