A History of Modern Indonesia
Cambridge University Press, 2005-11-03
EAN 9780521834933, ISBN10: 0521834937
Paperback, 306 pages, 23.5 x 16 x 2.3 cm
Although Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world, its history is still relatively unfamiliar and understudied. Guided by the life and writings of the country's most famous author, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Adrian Vickers takes the reader on a journey across the social and political landscape of twentieth-century Indonesia in this innovative and timely account. He begins by explaining the country's origins under the Dutch in the early part of that century, the subsequent anti-colonial struggle and revolution which led to independence in 1949. Thereafter the spotlight is on the 1950s, a crucial period in the formation of Indonesia as a new nation, which was followed by the Sukarno years, and the anti-communist massacres of the 1960s when General Suharto took over as president. The concluding chapters chart the fall of Suharto's New Order after thirty two years in power, and the subsequent political and religious turmoil which culminated in the Bali bombings in 2002. Drawing on insights from literature, art and anthropology, Adrian Vickers portrays a complex and resilient people borne out of a troubled past.
'Vickers's Modern Indonesia is no one-thing-after-the-other textbook. Innovatively framed around the writings of Pramoedya Ananta Toer, and invoking the arresting insights of Indonesian novelists and playwrights, it provides a stimulating, fresh understanding of Indonesia's modern, often tragic, trajectory. This is not a book written over the shoulders of nationalist politicians and military officers, but one that evokes the senses, flavours, turmoils and smells of everyday life in that irresistably complicated country.' R. E. Elson, The University of Queensland