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Indonesia and the Birth of the Modern World

David Van Reybrouck David Colmer David McKay



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Bodley Head
06 February 2024
A true masterpiece of narrative history and the definitive story of the revolution that ignited the end of colonialism worldwide

A story of staggering scope and drama, Revolusi is the masterful and definitive account of the epic revolution that sparked the decolonisation of the modern world.

On a sunny Friday morning in August 1945, a handful of tired people raised a homemade cotton flag and on behalf of 68 million compatriots announced the birth of a new nation. With the fourth largest population in the world, inhabiting islands that span an eighth of the globe, Indonesia became the first colonised country to declare its independence after the Second World War.

Four million civilians had died during the wartime occupation by the Japanese that ousted the Dutch colonial regime. Another 200,000 people would lose their lives in the astonishingly brutal conflict that ensued - as the Dutch used savage violence to reassert their control, and as the Allied troops of Britain and America became embroiled in pacifying Indonesia's guerrilla war of resistance- the 'revolusi'. It was not until December 1949 that the newly created United Nations forced The Netherlands to cede all sovereignty to Indonesia, finally ending 350 years of colonial rule and setting a precedent that would reshape the world.

Drawing on hundreds of interviews and eye-witness testimonies, David Van Reybrouck turns this vast and complex story into an utterly gripping narrative that is alive with human detail at every turn. A landmark publication, Revolusi shows Indonesia's struggle for independence to be one of the defining dramas of the twentieth century and establishes its author as one of the most gifted narrative historians at work in any language today.

Translated by:   ,
Imprint:   Bodley Head
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 47mm
Weight:   780g
ISBN:   9781847927057
ISBN 10:   184792705X
Pages:   640
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David Van Reybrouck is considered 'one of the leading intellectuals in Europe' (Der Tagesspiegel) and is a pioneering advocate of participatory democracy. He founded the G1000 Citizens' Summit, and his work has led to trials in participatory democracy throughout Belgium and The Netherlands. He is also one of the most highly regarded literary and political writers of his generation, whose most recent book, Congo- The Epic History of a People, won 19 prizes, sold 500,000 copies and has been translated into a dozen languages. It was described as a 'masterpiece' by the Independent and 'magnificent' by The New York Times.

Reviews for Revolusi: Indonesia and the Birth of the Modern World

An astounding feat of both research and storytelling. History at its best -- Yuval Harari A long overdue and utterly compelling narrative history of the birth of Indonesia . . . unfolds over a vast geopolitical canvas and yet never falters . . . It is as intricate as the waterways of the archipelago and yet it hums along, like a steamer on the Java Sea, propelled by the stories of its astonishing cast * Financial Times * A wonderful and important book. David Van Reybrouck has written an authoritative and powerful history of Indonesia that not only reframes the birth of a nation but helps challenge ideas about the end of the European Age of Empire -- Peter Frankopan A magnificent fusion of oral history, sparkling analysis, and historical wisdom. Revolusi has it all: a masterpiece -- Sebastian Mallaby Relating the story of this place is . . . a mammoth task, requiring a monumental research effort. This is what the Belgian historian David Van Reybrouck has achieved in his superb history, Revolusi * Guardian *

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