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1947: Where Now Begins
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1947: Where Now Begins

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  894 ratings  ·  167 reviews
An award-winning writer captures a year that defined the modern world, intertwining historical events around the globe with key moments from her personal history.
The year 1947 marks a turning point in the twentieth century. Peace with Germany becomes a tool to fortify the West against the threats of the Cold War. The CIA is created, Israel is about to be born, Simone de B
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by Other Press (NY) (first published August 2016)
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Bob That is the thesis of Asbrink's book. She believes that there was a critical point (or more-correctly, critical period) at the end of the Second World…moreThat is the thesis of Asbrink's book. She believes that there was a critical point (or more-correctly, critical period) at the end of the Second World War in which we can identify many events which, although appearing unremarkable at the time, have contributed (both individually and collectively) to shaping our current circumstances. So the "Now" that I experience can be said to have its genesis in those events in 1947. Of course, you can argue that your "Now" is not the same as mine and had its beginnings in different events at a different time. Regardless of our personal experiences, it is arguable that a change at some point in the past would have had major repercussions on the present we know. To select just two elements from 1947, imagine an alternative history/future in which Palestine was not partitioned and Kalashnikov did not invent his weapon. Would the Now we lived in then be the same as today?(less)
Meg Meyer The book is definitely non-fiction. She’s done a lot of research into what happened that year.

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Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rather than taking a year and giving a full account of what happened during it, this book is something slightly different. Yes, the year is split by months; , but, while it is certainly factual, it is also full of poetic writing and is also quite personal at times. Although the book has a worldwide perspective, it is Eurocentric and takes a cast of characters (some you will have heard of, such as Christian Dior, Primo Levi and Simone de Beuvoir, while others are less well known, such as Raphael ...more
Anina e gambette di pollo
Autore: svedese. Saggio storia.

Questo non potevo non prenderlo.

I fatti scelti (non sono ovviamente tutti quelli accaduti nel 1947) sono quelli che hanno prodotto cambiamenti epocali ci cui ancora oggi viviamo le conseguenze. La nascita dello stato di Israele, la fondazione dei Fratelli Musulmani, la fine dell’Impero britannico in India, la sopravvivenza del nazismo e del fascismo come correnti politiche nascoste ma operative, il delinearsi della politica dei blocchi contrapposti (Usa e Russia),
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that’s going to change the way I look at the world forever…

To quote part of the blurb:

In 1947, Elisabeth Åsbrink chronicles the creation of the modern world, as the forces that will go on to govern all our lives during the next 70 years first make themselves known.

It’s a remarkable book. It charts world events – month by month, city by city – for the year of 1947, as the world recovers from the cataclysm of WW2. And even if you think you are reasonably up to speed wit
Benjamin Bookman
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reviews are often very specific to the reader, more so than the text. For me, this book was just the right thing at just the right time, but I suspect that at a different point in my life, or if I were a different person, my perception would be completely different.

First, this is very clearly a translation - not necessarily in terms of words or meaning - but it is very European in pacing and cultural perspective. I really enjoyed this aspect; it is nice to read something that isn’t the American
Nov 16, 2018 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Antonomasia by: 2018 longlist, Warwick Prize for Women in Translation
UK English Audiobook, read by Joan Walker
(I also read parts of the book, or read and listened at the same time.)

A mostly enjoyable and interesting light popular history that feels like hearing or reading news from 71 years ago (if it were in the style of contemporary broadsheet news with a culture section).

I haven't read any others of the crop of popular histories named after individual years, but I understand that this one is different from the usual, because it concentrates not on a specific
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: narrativa, storia
1947, momento storico in cui il mondo si lecca le ferite della guerra da poco conclusa, disegnando un futuro più che mai incerto fatto di guerra fredda e di nuovi fascismi, della nascita dello stato di Israele e di quella del fondamentalismo islamico. E, come tessuto che tiene insieme a tutto questo, l'autrice inserisce le gesta di Simone De Beauvoir, George Orwell, Primo Levi, Thelonous Monk, Billy Holiday. E, al centro del libro, suo padre. Libro ibrido fra saggistica e narrativa che riesce a ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fruktansvärd - inte boken alltså men den värld som vi lever och har levt i. Intressant om året 1947.
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Någonstans mellan en trea och en fyra. Jag tror den här boken är större än jag förmår ta till mig just nu, därför borde den kanske få en fyra. Men jag vet att jag definitivt var mer förtjust, på mer än ett sätt, i Och i Wienerwald står träden kvar av samma författare.
Elisabeth Åsbrink skriver om tiden strax efter att andra världskriget tagit slut, om året 1947 som påverkade världen så mycket. Ett intressant, men lite spretigt grepp. Hon får verkligen 1947 att framstå som ett avgörande år, men j
Quite a novel way to write a history book. At times it reads like a novel with lyrical writing, that is sometimes quite personnel.
A range of sometime little remembered people, an interesting set of events and a premise of the number of inventions, systems, issues that occurred in 1947 and went on the form today. It's a balanced look covering mainly Europe and the US, literary giants, Christian Dior, an original computer designer, the fate of escaped Nazis, the fight to recognise that genocide o
Judy Baumgarten
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-group-read
Actually not quite finished, but this book is that good. Maybe I will change my rating when finished, we will see. Completely absorbing. Highly recommend.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uno dei libri più belli che abbia letto quest'anno e in generale. Un saggio-racconto degli eventi storici e politici del 1947 che cerca di tenere traccia dei nazisti scappati in Sud America e illustra in modo semplice le dinamiche e le origini del conflitto in Palestina. Lettura consigliata.
Branislav Breza
Táto kniha nie je zlá. Nie úplne však spĺňa to, čo by som od knihy s názvom podľa jedného roku ( a niektorých zahraničných vydaniach aj dovetkom Keď resp. Kde začína súčasnosť) očakával. Vydavateľstvo knihu propaguje ako "fascinujúcu knihu , ktorej hlavným hrdinom je jediný rok v živote ľudstva", "fascinujúcu mozaiku najrôznejších svetových udalostí, ktoré ovplyvňovali povojnový vývoj sveta a mnohé z nich ovplyvňujú ešte aj našu prítomnosť i budúcnosť". No nie je to celkom pravda. Väčšina udalos ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Loved this history of a year told in significant events from many sectors and slowly-creaking-along-developments, from well- and lesser-known perspectives (including the author’s father’s critical movements during that year in postwar Europe.) From the first few pages it felt like something special. Gorgeous, haunting writing that makes history feel like it’s playing out in front of you, and so many little things that surprised me. No joke about that “where now begins” part.
I gave up. I almost never do. I mean I've read a number of "Year X" books, incl. those about 1945 & 1946 - no less painful ones. However, E. Asbrink apparently has a penchant for excess dramatizing or seeks opportunity to fictionalize what should have been a work of nonfiction. Whenever some sad opportunity presents itself, the author jumps at it and turns her narration into something I could only compare with slow disembowelment of a wriggling reader - extracting one's long guts by slowly w ...more
Caroline Van Laere
heb er me een beetje moeten doorworstelen eerlijk gezegd!
Claudia Minerva
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Mi è stato regalato e l’ho trovato un libro molto scorrevole e interessante, nonostante non credo che l’avrei comprato. Si è rivelato una delle migliori letture concluse nel 2018 (mancano quasi 6 mesi però) perché affronta un particolare periodo storico con richiami evidenti ad una società contemporanea che sta perdendo alcuni suoi valori.
Il nazismo svedese, lo jihad, l’odissea degli ebrei che occupano parte della Palestina e il rifiuto degli Usa ad aprire le frontiere per accogliere queste per
Maria Strale
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Femstjärnig. Utan tvekan.
Åsbrink visar hur nutiden hänger ihop med "dåtiden" och hur historien upprepar sig, bokstavligen.
1947 visar sig vara ett år som har en så direkt anknytning till oss så det känns nästan skrämmande. Det var tyska judiska flyktingar som skickades runt mellan olika europeiska länder, inte syriska, men skeendet är det samma. Beslutet om Israels grundande tas. Det muslimska brödraskapet bildas. Och. Så. Vidare. I oändlighet.
Samtidigt är detta en berättelse om Åsbrinks far och
For starters I am the complete mark for this type of book. The style of writing, how it looks at the history between the cracks. There is no need to have George Orwell counting eggs in this book, but it's delightful.

When I start to love a book I start to love the book itself, how it lays open, where is crinkles, how the page feels under my finger as I turn a page. It was a good book.

I adored Asbrink's writing, it was the type of book that seemed more about myth making than history, this was in l
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Způsob, jakým Elisabeth Åsbrinková zpracovala události roku 1947, se mi neskutečně líbí. Potěšilo mě, že kromě "významných historických" událostí zařadila i drobnější zajímavosti (kterými se spíš blýskenete mezi kamarády, než že by vás zachránily u zkoušky z novodobé historie). Četlo se to jedna radost, i když témata samozřejmě místy radostná nejsou. Jsem ráda, že jsem si trochu doplnila své děravé znalosti světových dějin a možná i maličko víc pochopila některé z konfliktů, které probíhají dodn ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fragmenty, útržky, udalosti medzinárodnej politiky, zásadné kroky aj banality, všetko so všetkým susedí, veď z odstupu času sme schopní rekonštruovať obraz, domyslieť si neopísané, dopovedať si (v duchu), čo sa ešte len stane. Asbrink načrtáva prvé dejstvá komplexného príbehu, je to non-fiction, je to poézia, je to kronika napísaná s vedomím budúcnosti a je to aj jedna z najuhrančivejších kníh, aké som tento rok čítala.
Izabela Mizia
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O tym jak świat zaczyna kształtować się na nowo, choć dla wielu wojna jeszcze się nie skończyła i trwać będzie długo po 1947 roku. Asbrink skrupulatnie zebrała informacje na temat najważniejszych wydarzeń z tego okresu i przedstawiła je w przystępnej formie. Ważny, otwierający oczy reportaż.
Chiara Libriamoci
Un libro che è un capolavoro, magnifico esempio di unione storica e curiosità, storie variegate che hanno cambiato in minima o grande parte, le sorti di tutte le categorie politiche e sociali.

Visioni complesse raccontate in modo semplice ma chiaro, completo e interessante, ricolme di numeri e testimonianze dirette.

Un bellissimo capitolo centrale che apre una parentesi sulla storia famigliare e personale dell’autrice, delle sofferenze e dell’amore verso quei nonni che, con forza e coraggio, hanno
Casey Wheeler
I received a free Kindle copy of 1947: Where Now Begins by Elisabeth Asbrink courtesy of Net Galley and Random House, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review to Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my nonfiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus pages.

I requested this book as I the subject of the book sounded interesting and I have read a great deal around this time period. This is the first book by
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some reviews of this work have linked it comparatively to recent anniversary histories (such as the flood of 1914 titles), but Asbrink makes a much broader claim for her work. This is not merely a 70th commemoration of the year 1947 but its recognition as a pivotal period in shaping the world as we know it. She asserts that this was the time when now began.

But she does not build her case through a chain of cause and effect. As a journalist, Asbrink provides the reader with a chronology of (appa
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I learned a fair bit from this book, and it does give food for thought. One thing I took away from it is that there's no reason to be surprised at the resurgence of fascism we are experiencing at the moment: fascism never waned, let alone died. As soon as WWII was over, Nazi survivors and sympathizers regrouped and started agitating again. Of course I was aware that many Nazis had managed to flee to South America, but what I didn't realize was that they had a fair bit of help from Swedish sympat ...more
Malin Magnusson Barle
Något av det bästa jag ver är det här: en tonsäker författare som lägger sig mitt emellan fakta och fiktion och gör ett historiskt skede fullt begripligt samtidigt som dess aktörer får kött och blod. Historiker klarar det sällan; de är oftast för präglade av vetenskapens krav på objektivitet och sanning (Hirdman och Englund är två underbara undantag).
1947 är ett årtal som i historieskrivningen alltid hamnar i kölvattnet efter den stora freden 1945. Åsbrink för med sina nedslag stor historia av å
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helt fantastisk bok. Kan inte sluta tänka på den och vill läsa om den, nu.
“Sto cercando di raccogliere l’anno 1947 in un tutt’uno frantumato. E’ una follia, ma il tempo non mi dà pace”

E’ un libro che affronta un arco temporale molto preciso, 1947, e lo si intuisce dal titolo: i capitoli sono scanditi dai mesi di un’anno molto importante per la costuzione della contemporaneità, e Elisabeth Asbrink ce lo racconta attraverso una serie di frammenti che ora ci portano negli Stati Uniti, dove il presidente Truman prende in mano le redini del mondo dopo la grande guerra, ora
Scribe Publications
Gripping, overwhelming, and completed with such stylistic and factual consistency that you almost lose your breath. It does not happen often, but occasionally: good journalistic craftsmanship rises and becomes great literature.
Sydsvenska Dagbladet

Elisabeth Åsbrink has written a book about history that distinguishes itself from many other history books by its poetic beauty … 1947 is as much an adept history book as it is a beautiful and well-written piece of fiction. Read it!
Sydsvenska Dagbladet

Berit Lundqvist
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
1947. A year when everything was still weighing. A year when everything could have been different. But it didn’t. Or did it?

I’ve worked with safety analyses for radioactive waste for many years. Predicting the development for a repository for nuclear waste in a one million years perspective is like looking through a funnel. Things outside the funnel can’t happen, because of physical restrictions. Things inside the funnel, the volume you can actually see, are all the combinations of possible even
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