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Man of Contradictions

Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia

Ben Bland



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03 September 2020
History; Politics & government
From a riverside shack to the presidential palace, Joko Widodo surged to the top of Indonesian politics on a wave of hope for change. However, six years into his presidency, the former furniture maker is struggling to deliver the reforms that Indonesia desperately needs. Despite promising to build Indonesia into an Asian powerhouse, Jokowi, as he is known, has faltered in the face of crises, from COVID-19 to an Islamist mass movement.

Man of Contradictions, the first English-language biography of Jokowi, argues that the president embodies the fundamental contradictions of modern Indonesia. He is caught between democracy and authoritarianism, openness and protectionism, Islam and pluralism. Jokowi's incredible story shows what is possible in Indonesia - and it also shows the limits.
By:   Ben Bland
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 181mm,  Width: 111mm, 
ISBN:   9781760897246
ISBN 10:   1760897248
Pages:   160
Publication Date:   03 September 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ben Bland is director of the Southeast Asia project at the Lowy Institute. Before joining the Lowy Institute, Ben was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, with postings in Hanoi, Hong Kong and Jakarta and experience reporting across China and Southeast Asia over the previous decade. His first book, Generation HK- Seeking Identity in China's Shadow, was published in 2017, examining the growing tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing. It was described as a 'David versus Goliath tale' by the Sydney Morning Herald and commended by the Times Literary Supplement for its 'lively prose' and 'illuminating' comparisons.

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