Ian Buruma talks with an attendee at the 2006 Texas Book Festival.
December 28, 1951 |
The Hague, Netherlands
|Subjects||China, Japan, Occidentalism, Orientalism|
He was born in The Hague, the Netherlands, to a Dutch father and British mother. He studied Chinese literature at Leiden University, and then Japanese film at Nihon University in Tokyo. He has held a number of editorial and academic positions, and has contributed numerous articles to The New York Review of Books. He has been noted as a "well-regarded European intellectual."
In 2000 he delivered the Huizinga Lecture – Neoromanticism of writers in exile – in the Pieterskerk in Leiden, The Netherlands. He has held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C and St Antony's College, Oxford. In 2003 he became Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights & Journalism at Bard College, New York.
Many liberals these days seem at pains to establish their bona fides as tough-minded hawks when it comes to global threats, but the Dutch man of letters has made a career out of affirming the classic liberalism of the open-door variety. His writing in recent years has attracted the ire of critics who think he equivocates on the dangers of radical Islam, but Ian Buruma made his response this year with a typically judicious and politically relevant book, Taming the Gods, that reflects on the Western capacity for religious pluralism. According to Buruma, Western society is robust enough to embrace even illiberal practices, so long as these are not violent. "Living with values that one does not share," he wrote in a recent column on France's burqa ban, "is a price to be paid for living in a pluralist society."
- The Japanese Tattoo (1980) with Donald Richie ISBN 978-0-8348-0228-5
- Behind the Mask: On Sexual Demons, Sacred Mothers, Transvestites, Gangsters, Drifters, and Other Japanese Cultural Heroes (1983) ISBN 978-0-452-00738-3
- A Japanese Mirror: Heroes and Villains of Japanese culture (1984). Publisher: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-02049-8
- Tokyo: Form and Spirit (1986) with James Brandon, Kenneth Frampton, Martin Friedman, Donald Richie ISBN 978-0-8109-1690-6
- God's Dust: A Modern Asian Journey (1989) ISBN 978-0-7538-1089-7
- Great Cities of the World: Hong Kong (1991)
- Playing the Game (1991) novel ISBN 978-0-374-52633-7
- The Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and in Japan (1994) ISBN 978-0-452-01156-4
- Introduction for Geisha: The Life, the Voices, the Art (1998) by Jodi Cobb ISBN 978-0-375-70180-1
- Voltaire's Coconuts, or Anglomania in Europe (UK title) (1998) or Anglomania: a European Love Affair (US title) (1999) ISBN 978-0-7538-0954-9
- The Missionary and the Libertine: Love and War in East and West (2000) compilation ISBN 978-0-571-21414-3
- De neo-romantiek van schrijvers in exil (Neoromanticism of writers in exile) (2000) ISBN 90-446-0028-1
- Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing (2001) ISBN 978-0-679-78136-3
- Inventing Japan: From Empire to Economic Miracle 1853–1964 (2003) ISBN 978-0-679-64085-1
- Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (2004) with Avishai Margalit ISBN 978-0-14-303487-2
- Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance (2006) ISBN 978-1-59420-108-0 winner of The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for the Best Current Interest Book.
- Conversations with John Schlesinger (2006) ISBN 0-375-75763-5
- Commentary on the History of China for the time period of The Last Emperor, The Criterion Collection 2008 DVDs (ASIN: B000ZM1MIW, ISBN 978-1-60465-014-3).
- The China Lover (2008) novel ISBN 978-1-59420-194-3
- Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents (2010) ISBN 978-0-691-13489-5, with some historical examples of the value the separation of religion and national governance with the separation of church and state as one example.
- Grenzen aan de vrijheid: van De Sade tot Wilders (Limits to Freedom: From De Sade to Wilders) (2010) ISBN 978-90-477-0262-7 – Essay for the Month of Philosophy in the Netherlands.
- Year Zero: A History of 1945 (2013) ISBN 978-15-942-0436-4
- China's class ceiling, published in the Los Angeles Times
- The Pilgrimage From Tiananmen Square, published in The New York Times
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- Official Website, with curriculum vitae
- Column archive at Project Syndicate
- Column archive at The Guardian
- Column archive at The New York Review of Books
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Ian Buruma at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Ian Buruma in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Ian Buruma collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Article archive at Journalisted