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A Short History of Indonesia

Islamic, authoritarian, democratic, developing, disintegrating: Indonesia is an enigma to outside observers who have never seemed sure just what it is. The largest country in its region, Indonesia holds the key to Southeast Asia's future, while recent developments (demands for greater regional autonomy, ethnic, political and religious conflict) are making the archipelago significant on the world stage and prompting re-examination of its history. As a state Indonesia is a 20th-century creation, but its peoples' roots go deeper. Through the exchange of ideas, myths, rulers, religions and trade goods, they share a history two millennia long. Occupying a key section of the east Asia-Europe trade route, Indonesia was influenced by external forces, including the religion of Islam and Dutch colonialism. Today, it has the largest Muslim population in the world. How were these societies brought into interaction with each other, eventually to produce the single state of modern Indonesia? And how have the peoples of independent Indonesia tried to resolve the consequences of that unity since? Colin Brown brings contemporary research to bear on Indonesian history in this readable, comprehensive volume. From the earliest recorded history to the classical empires, through colonialism and Japanese occupation, Sukarno and Suharto and the 1999 elections, to present-day tensions and beyond, this is a book for anyone wanting to understand how Indonesia came to be, and what its future holds.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Maps of Indonesia Acronyms Glossry Note on transcription The Indonesian context The rise of states: 1-1500 CE The age of commerce: 1400-1700 Economic demise, political decline: 1600-1800 Establishment of empire: 1800-1900 Times of change: 1900-1945 From revolution to authoritarian rule: 1945-1957 Guided to Pancasila democracy: 1956-1998 Reformasi: The post-Suharto era? Bibliographical essay Endnotes Index

About the Author

Colin Brown is Professor of Asian Studies at Flinders University. He has taught at universities in Australia and Indonesia, and has published widely on Indonesian history, culture and politics. An active member of the Australia Indonesia Business Council, he has been a frequent visitor to Indonesia since 1972. Series Editor Milton Osborne has had an association with the Asian region for over 40 years as an academic, public servant and independent writer. He is the author of eight books on Asian topics, including Southeast Asia: An introductory history, first published in 1979 and now in its eighth edition, and, most recently, The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future, published in 2000.


""I cannot welcome this series warmly enough. It is sure to be a winner--and much needed." "I cannot welcome this series warmly enough. It is sure to be a winner--and much needed." --Bill Bryson, author, In a Sunburned Country and A Walk in the Woods I cannot welcome this series warmly enough. It is sure to be a winner and much needed. Bill Bryson, author, "In a Sunburned Country" and "A Walk in the Woods""

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