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A penetrating reconstruction of Indonesia’s decolonization

Revolusi. Indonesia and the Birth of the Modern World

David Van Reybrouck

Indonesia’s struggle for independence, which reached its climax in the 1940s, has long been regarded as a conflict between the colonial power, the Netherlands, and the colonized Dutch East Indies. But in fact it is part of world history. David Van Reybrouck’s ‘Revolusi’ is the first book to go beyond the national perspective and demonstrate the conflict’s global significance.

Indonesia was the first country to declare independence after the Second World War. As soon as the Japanese occupation ended, young rebels engaged in armed resistance against any new form of domination. British, Australian and above all Dutch troops were sent to restore order and keep the peace, but instead their presence ignited the first modern war of decolonization. That struggle inspired independence movements in Asia, Africa and the Arab world, especially when Indonesia organized the legendary Bandung Conference in 1955, the first global conference without the West. The whole world had become involved with the Revolusi, and the whole world was changed by it.

The factual research by Limpach can be supplemented by anecdotes, small human histories, the personal stories that bring statistics to life. Van Reybrouck does precisely that, with verve.
De Groene Amsterdammer

In his familiar stirring and engaged style, and based on countless conversations with witnesses from different countries, David Van Reybrouck once again – after the phenomenal ‘Congo. A History’ – presents a penetrating reconstruction of a struggle for independence.

Monumental. A book whose force only increases as you turn its pages. ****
De Standaard
David Van Reybrouck loves oral history and oral history loves him. ****
De Volkskrant