"Vickers's Modern Indonesia is no one-thing-after-the-other textbook. Innovatively framed around the writings of Pramoedya Ananta Toer, and invoking the arresting insights of Indonesian novelists and playwrights, it provides a stimulating, fresh understanding of Indonesia's modern, often tragic, trajectory. This is not a book written over the shoulders of nationalist politicians and military officers, but one that evokes the senses, flavours, turmoils and smells of everyday life in that irresistably complicated country." --R.E. Elson, Professor of Southeast Asian history, The University of Queensland
"I think this will become the standard history textbook on Indonesia for introductory classes and it will last because it is so beautifully written. I suspect it will set a new standard also because of the interpretations taken, implicit as they are." -- Gerry van Klinken, H-Asia
Vickers interprets 20th-century Indonesian history through the writings of the Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer. A Marxist, Toer sees the colonial period as oppressive, believes strongly in the hope of the national movement for social revolution, laments the failure of this goal during the early independence period, and strongly opposes the New Order (1966-1998), with its emphasis on development rather than revolution and its authoritarian, militaristic base.
"Adrian Vickers uses a unique style to provide his readers with a view of twentieth-century Indonesia...A History of Modern Indonesia is a thorough and informative account of Indonesia's history and political development in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries." - Florence Lamoureux
"Vickers draws a compelling narrative of cogent historical detail, while also incorporating insights from other disciplines such as literature, anthopology, sociology and political science." - Trevor W. Preston, University of Toronto, Canada
"Vickers has written a useful book that provides an entertaining and mostly informative account of a country whose history should be better known." - David Webster, University of Toronto
Adrian Vickers takes the reader on a journey across the social and political landscape of modern Indonesia, a relatively unfamiliar and understudied country. He starts with Indonesia's origins under the Dutch in the early twentieth-century, and concludes with the fall of Suharto's New Order after thirty two years in power, and the subsequent turmoil which culminated in the Bali bombings in 2002. Drawing on insights from literature, art and anthropology, Vickers portrays a complex and resilient people struggling out of a troubled past.