Extended Audio Sample

Download Inventing Japan: 1853–1964 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Inventing Japan: 1853–1964 Audiobook, by Ian Buruma Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (187 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ian Buruma Narrator: Nelson Runger Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Modern Library Chronicles Release Date: February 2003 ISBN: 9781436147019
Regular Price: $24.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Los Angeles Times Book Award winner and expert on the past and present Japan, Ian Buruma examines the transformation of a country. Following Japan’s history from its opening to the West in 1853 to its hosting of the 1964 Olympics, Buruma focuses on how figures such as Commodore Matthew Perry, Douglas MacArthur, and Emperor Mitsushito helped shape this complex country. Download and start listening now!

BK_RECO_000603

Quotes & Awards

  • “Buruma's excellent new book charts the process of Japan's engagement with the Western world…A compelling read.”

    The Economist

  • “An excellent introductory study, complete with a helpful bibliography for those seeking more rigorous analyses.”

    Booklist

  • “Stylish and illuminating, Inventing Japan has the added virtue of being admirably concise. Students and general readers alike will find this grand overview of modern Japan’s many identities engaging and provocative.” 

    John W. Dower, author of Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize

  • “Those familiar with Ian Buruma’s impressive body of work on Japan will not be disappointed by Inventing Japan. This compelling narrative captures the excitement, triumph, and failure of the century in which Japan abandoned its traditional ways and entered into the modern world.”

    James L. McClain, professor of history, Brown University; author of Japan: A Modern History

  • A witty and illuminating romp through a hundred years of Japanese history, written with Mr. Buruma’s usual style and insight.”

    Ronald Spector, professor of history and international relations, George Washington University; author of At War at Sea and Eagle Against the Sun.

  • New York Times Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 1/7/2014

    " I picked this up at the used book section of the Harvard Bookstore. A quick but comprehensicve summary of modern Japanese history, with the author's editorial comments. I recommend it to anyone who wants a quick introduction to the period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 12/11/2013

    " Good, quick read on the history of Japan btw Commodore Perry and the Tokyo Olympics. Tumultuous 110 years. Lots of substories that would benefit from more detail, but ideal for an airplane ride. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tatsuru | 12/4/2013

    " It's a good book that dives into the a key ideological aspects of the transformation of country from the feudal mono-centric era to a modern economic force in the world. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jordan | 11/28/2013

    " What a poor attempt at history. Full of condescending attitude and irrelevant sidenotes. Don't waste your time. Read the Wikipedia page for History of Japan instead of this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alvin | 11/23/2013

    " A pithy and highly readable outline of modern Japanese history. It focuses on the grand sweep of politics, rather than culture or social life, but is sprinkled with fascinating factoids and interesting anecdotes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 11/20/2013

    " Well written, fast read, that provides an essential introduction for anyone who wants to understand or appreciate modern Japan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michal Knight | 4/22/2013

    " As Im not accustomed to this type of books, but it was a very nice read indeed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abe | 2/18/2013

    " a great primer on japanese history, but given how short it is, you can imagine how much it leaves out. also, it's a bit of a crime how little there is in the way of bibliography or "further reading" recommendations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rayette | 5/8/2012

    " Well written. A good primer on modern Japan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/9/2012

    " Buruma's dry, ironic tone enlivens a history of Japan from the Meiji era to the late 1960s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nurul | 4/7/2012

    " comprehensive look on Japanese culture that expands for over a decade. good and informative.. just wish the book could be more "hip" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 2/27/2012

    " A short, accessible, and well written history of modern Japan. Buruma clearly explains the culture and the conflicts that led to military rule and WWII and how Japan has emerged from the war prosperous and peaceful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aeby Thomas | 6/29/2011

    " Island countries tend to conserve national identities in much stronger way. A good narrative of a complex society that has gone through so many transformations and cultural change in recent history, and yet how and why the society retains fine aspects of old traditions. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jordan | 4/24/2011

    " What a poor attempt at history. Full of condescending attitude and irrelevant sidenotes. Don't waste your time. Read the Wikipedia page for History of Japan instead of this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alvin | 11/27/2010

    " A pithy and highly readable outline of modern Japanese history. It focuses on the grand sweep of politics, rather than culture or social life, but is sprinkled with fascinating factoids and interesting anecdotes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nurul | 2/9/2010

    " comprehensive look on Japanese culture that expands for over a decade. good and informative.. just wish the book could be more "hip" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 2/2/2010

    " Good, quick read on the history of Japan btw Commodore Perry and the Tokyo Olympics. Tumultuous 110 years. Lots of substories that would benefit from more detail, but ideal for an airplane ride. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rayette | 3/13/2009

    " Well written. A good primer on modern Japan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/5/2008

    " Buruma's dry, ironic tone enlivens a history of Japan from the Meiji era to the late 1960s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 5/14/2007

    " Well written, fast read, that provides an essential introduction for anyone who wants to understand or appreciate modern Japan. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Ian Buruma

Ian Buruma is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College. His books include The China Lover, Murder in Amsterdam, Occidentalism, God’s Dust, Behind the Mask, The Wages of Guilt, Bad Elements, and Taming the Gods.

About the Narrator

Nelson Runger’s voice has been recorded in dozens of audio productions. His ability to convey difficult, scholarly material with eloquence and ease has earned him critical acclaim, including an AudioFile Best Voice in Biography & History for his reading of Nixon and Kissinger.