“This excellent study of the long struggle for independence in East Timor was written by an author who seems to have had access to everyone, on all sides, who played any role. In a very tight format, Fernandes makes this history almost too inclusive. He populates the long story with nearly everyone who had a say or played a role, but he fails to single out individuals or explain why they were key to achieving eventual success or tried to block it. He includes friends and foes, leaders, and ordinary individuals who did or said anything that contributes to making his narrative as complete as possible, but most disappear as the subject passes without helping readers understand why they were important, or not, to Timor’s independence. Despite this, the book will have lasting value as a primary source for studies to come and be read and consulted by teachers, writers, and scholars looking for clues as to where to turn next as they seek to develop new descriptions and/or interpretations. Recommended.” —Choice
“The struggle of East Timor for independence, resisting aggression and slaughter backed by the great powers, is an inspiration for those who value freedom and justice. Fernandes provides an expert and perceptive inquiry into this true modern epic, exploring in unparalleled depth the internal dynamics and international dimensions of the struggle. This most welcome contribution is a worthy tribute to those who endured and overcame, yielding lessons of great significance for understanding of the realities of international society and the resources of the human spirit.” —Noam Chomsky
About the Author
Clinton Fernandes is Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales. Prior to becoming an academic, he spent 15 years in the Australian Army and served as the Australian Intelligence Corps Principal Analyst (East Timor) in the final years of East Timor’s independence struggle. In 2008 and 2009 he assisted the Australian Federal Police’s War Crimes team on the subject of the Indonesian military and the East Timorese resistance. From 2007 to 2009 he served as the Consulting Historian for Balibo, a feature film about the murder of six Australian-based journalists in East Timor in 1975.