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Indonesia: Archipelago of Fear

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Indonesia: Archipelago of Fear is a fascinating and at times unsettling journey into the world's most populous Muslim nation as it struggles to emerge from decades of dictatorship and the plunder of its natural resources.

Andre Vltchek brings together more than a decade of investigative journalism in and around Indonesia to chart the recent history of the country, from the
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 15th 2012 by Pluto Press
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Indra Setiadi
Informative account of Indonesia from 1965 up to 2011, especially when I combine it with Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. However, I found the book too pessimistic on Indonesia's future. Readers without a direct experience living in the country will think Indonesia is worse than it really is, especially on the plight of Chinese Indonesians (I am one).

Yes, the pogroms did happen. However, I do not constantly live in fear. I never have to say goodbye to Chinese food, even in the worst of times
Dharma Agastia
Having been familiar with Vltchek's writings in Counterpunch, I knew what to expect when I purchased this book: vivid despair of fearful people living in a country that does not care about them.

Vltchek paints a grim and morose picture of Indonesia, the "emerald of the equator". He visits all facets of life in Indonesia. From the posh elites and the down-trodden poor, from glorified economic statistics to complicated political manoeuvring, nothing escapes Vltchek's observation and harsh criticism
Tet Roberts
Bleak history of Indonesia and far over the top where the writer ( a Russia Today reporter) gives an anti Western view (cause They are to blame for everything) about the Indonesian society and all the problems of the country. Nevertheless a good overview of failed leadership and mega projects, burned forests and genocide... A little bit of own research is needed to find nuance about the truth.
Marian Suwono
I don't know my own country this well. It's a depressing and sobering book, telling you about the country from the perspective of a constantly travelling investigative journalist who relentlessly reports about the sufferings in the world caused by the "Empire".
Eka Seira
at last I found a good summary with some opinion about Indonesia between 1965-2011, a persuasive and enlightening book.
"the nations seems to be united in its diversity of fears!" "Indonesian are extremely diciplined in not understanding." lol! no comment!
Aditya Candrasaputra
A good reading for those who need something to temper their optimism about Indonesia. This book offers a skeptical, sometimes too skeptical view of Indonesia, and how all hopes has almost been lost due to the removal of anything public and / or intellectual during the course of Indonesia's history.

Granted, this was written before 2014 but still a relevant read
Yuu Sasih
Sep 04, 2014 Yuu Sasih marked it as to-read
Made a wishlist shelf just for this book. I admire Andre's writing in counterpunch, so I really, really want to have this book.
I do live constantly in fear in this wonderful archipelago. From fear of getting sick and can't afford the medical treatment. Fear of not earning enough to live and will get nothing from the government. Fear of going out alone at night, even though only to go to neighborhood stalls, as there are always risks of getting hit by motorcycles or getting robbed (experienced it from losing phones to car that was inside the garage). But also fear of not religious enough or not loving families enough or ...more
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