To Nation by Revolution
Indonesia in the 20th Century
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: NUS Press Pte Ltd
Title Page, Copyright
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List of Illustrations
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Political histories have already been written of Indonesia’s turbulent 20th century of national creation. This book is not a rival of such studies, and does not aim for comprehensiveness, although the first chapter provides an overview of the political process. Rather, it is a collection of studies of particular themes that have been...
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Chapter 1. Indonesia: Revolution without Socialism
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Two days earlier, the proclamation had been the subject of an angry exchange between two generations of nationalists. The Japanese had surrendered to the Allies on 14 August, just too soon to allow the implementation of their last-minute preparations to grant “independence” to Indonesia. Sukarno and his then colleague...
Chapter 2. The Late Death of Slavery
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Slavery in Southeast Asia is not a remote historical phenomenon. Laws certainly have prohibited private ownership of persons for a century or more, yet in more remote hills and islands of the region, one still encounters people who admit to being slaves or the children of slaves. Much more widespread are people who work...
Chapter 3. From Betel to Tobacco: The Modern Transformation
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Southeast Asians appear to have been extensive users of mild narcotics throughout their recorded history. For all but the past century of this history, the betel quid, composed of areca nut, betel leaves, and lime, was the characteristic relaxant central to the agreeable social interaction that Southeast Asians valued. For thousands...
Chapter 4. Chains of Silver, Chains of Steel: Forcing Politics on Geography
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Batavia rose to prominence in the archipelago in the period 1650–1750 in the same way as earlier centres since Sriwijaya — with symbolic political primacy following commercial dominance. Since 1800, however, Batavia/Jakarta has had to fight an uphill battle against market economic forces in order to counter the influence of...
Chapter 5. Merdeka: The Indonesian Key to Freedom
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Suharto’s Indonesia was low on the league tables for the practice of political and civic freedoms, and its government did not put these high on its list of national priorities. Human rights did become an issue in the post- Suharto reform era from 1998, but it was conservatives who were more likely to cite Indonesian tradition...
Chapter 6. The Quest for an Indonesian Past
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Perceptions of the future and the past tend to be interdependent; particularly for emergent nationalisms as they reassess their national destiny. Indonesian nationalism was however slower than most in developing this reassessment into a complete history. Not until the period of Japanese military rule did a substantial national...
Chapter 7. The Japanese Impact: From Briefcase to Samurai Sword
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The role of the Japanese in the creation of modern Indonesia long remained an emotive question, particularly for those who were involved in the events. Since the Dutch attacked the infant Indonesian Republic in 1945 as a Japanese creation, nationalists were initially at pains to show the world that they had no debts...
Chapter 8. The Revolution in Regional Perspective
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It is frequently complained that an excessive focus on the national level has distorted our understanding of the Indonesian revolution, as of most things Indonesian.1 Yet a brief survey of the academic research completed reveals that regional studies have been the dominant theme. As against the detailed studies of South Sulawesi...
Chapter 9. Gestapu: A Hesitant Assessment, 1967
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Even two years after the first upheaval [i.e. 1967],1 it is still almost impossible for anyone to view with complete objectivity the trauma which shook Indonesia on and after the night of September 30, 1965. Among Indonesians, all are involved; there are few who have not felt their jobs, their property, or their...
Chapter 10. “Asian Tradition” and Indonesian Politics: The One and the Many
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For a period in the 1990s, the dichotomy of East and West returned to the political and academic agenda. A century earlier, partly in response to a strong strain of European thought essentialising “Asia” or “the Orient” as inherently despotic or hierarchic, the first wave of Asianism had celebrated Okakura’s famous...
Chapter 11. Why Not Federalism?
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Indonesia and China are the only very large, multi-ethnic states to have rejected the federal model in favour of a unitary state. This chapter will investigate, for the Indonesian case, the hypothesis that the revolutionary path by which these and other countries arrived at modern nation-statedom is the most important...
Chapter 12. Chinese and the State: The Jewish Analogy
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Periods of rapid economic expansion and relatively weak government tend to widen the differences between individuals and social groups. Risk takers and innovators are rewarded more than most, sometimes by their ability to enter the yawning gap between the laws and values of an older era and the economic needs...
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Page Count: 358
Illustrations: 11 images
Publication Year: 2011