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"If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die": How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor

ISBN-13: 978-0691135366
ISBN-10: 0691135363
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Condition: Used: Very Good
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this intimate, informed account, historian Robinson (The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali), examines the tumultuous events surrounding East Timor's 1999 attempt to gain independence from Indonesia. With expertise and an insider's perspective-a principal researcher for Amnesty International in the 1990s, Robinson joined the UN mission overseeing East Timor's independence referendum-the author offers rare insight into the country's internal turmoil. Particularly riveting are Robinson's descriptions of the days preceding the historic vote to separate from Indonesia: "dressed in their Sunday best, some East Timorese left home in the middle of the night to reach the polling station by dawn." The importance of that vote, in which "98.6 percent of those who had registered cast ballots," is hard to overstate; just hours after voting ended, however, pro-Indonesian militia groups erupted in a violent backlash that would kill approximately 1,500 civilians and send 400,000 fleeing the country. Despite the overwhelming brutality of the story, and a bleak assessment of actions from the UN and international community (as much a part of the problem as the solution), Robinson manages to cap his detailed report with a hopeful note. END


A compelling body of documentary and first-person evidence that Indonesian military and civilian leaders orchestrated the shocking violence that marred East Timor's birth as a nation. . . . To be sure, it a sad story, but also one in which international intervention ultimately prevented a much greater disaster. . . . Compelling.
(Angilee Shah Zocalo )

Robinson was a UN officer stationed in East Timor and his account is illuminating and horrifying. -- Billy Heller New York Post

[A] fine book. . . . [T]hough enlivened by the narrative of Mr Robinson's own time as a participant in and eyewitness to the events described, ['If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die'] is also a subtle and nuanced work of history and analysis.
(Economist )

[Geoffrey Robinson] is arguably one of the most informed, compassionate outsiders to tell the story of the violence in the small island nation. . . . Even if you don't have much baseline knowledge about the conflicts between these Southeast Asian islands, this book will illuminate the complicated history is accessible terms. Robinson offers crucial perspective on modern colonialism and explores issues of accountability and justice with aplomb.
(Brittany Shoot Feminist Review )

There is valuable and thought-provoking material in this book.
(Peter Rodgers The Australian )

Powerful. . . . If You Leave Us Here We Will Die: How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor is the best account yet of 'a bad year in East Timor'--at least 1500 civilians murdered, 400,000 forced from their homes, 70 per cent of the infrastructure destroyed, the country looted. . . . [Robinson] puts the violence in context, while his witness accounts give the book narrative power.
(Tom Hyland Sydney Morning Herald )

Meticulously researched and powerful.
(Joshua Kurlantzick Washington Monthly )

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