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East Timor's Unfinished Struggle: Inside the Timorese Resistance Paperback – July 1, 1999

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The 1996 Nobel Peace Prize pointed the world spotlight on East Timor, the Catholic, Portuguese-speaking province that Indonesia has been trying to suppress since invading it in 1975. Timely though this book is, it bears no trace of a rush job. It is predominantly the memoir of a 33-year-old Timorese man with supplementary matter by others, including a 250-word endorsement from prize co-winner JoseRamos Horta. Pinto was only 11 when the Timorese turmoil erupted after the fall of Portugal's empire. His family supported the independence party. They fled before the Indonesian takeover, and Pinto became an adolescent guerrilla, then opted for teaching before rejoining the underground in 1983. He pulled off a brave exploit by organizing a demonstration at a papal mass in 1989. Later, he was arrested, tortured, and, a hunted man after an appalling massacre in 1991, escaped into exile. Unbowed, with deep faith in his country and religion, Pinto adds the substance of suffering to the publicity generated by the Nobel Prize. Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press; First edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896085414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896085411
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,118,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on October 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a unique and invaluable book. It is the only first-person narrative in English of the East Timorese resistance from the 1975 invasion to the 1992 capture of Xanana Gusmão. The cataclysmic events of the Indonesian occupation that have been carefully chronicled before in several third-person accounts are presented here as moments of danger and decision in an individual's life. Pinto, with the editorial help of Jardine, has succeeded in giving the reader a vivid sense of how the East Timorese have struggled and survived through the torrent of violence that has been unleashed upon them. The reader follows Pinto from a worry-free childhood, when he played games such as kalek (which involves knocking fruits out of a certain type of tree), to a danger-filled adolescence and adulthood. At age 13, he fled with his family from his hometown of Remexio (southeast of Dili) while mortar shells and bombs rained down around them. For a year and a half, they lived in a town further south, just out of the Indonesian army's reach. There he learned guerrilla fighting and weekly alternated guard duty on the front line with farm work. Overcoming his initial trepidation and despondency, he gained the resolve to fight until death. When the Indonesian military (ABRI) escalated its counter-insurgency campaign in late 1977, Pinto and his family fled again. The thousands who took refuge in the forested hills became cut off from their food supplies: "sometimes we only had a piece of manioc to eat for the whole day." Each family spent the day hiding from the soldiers and the night searching for food. Pinto, with his parents, siblings and 50 other people, were captured after one year of hardscrabble life in the jungle.Read more ›
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By A Customer on February 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
Constâncio Pinto's life is an exemple of what it means to live in fear for most of your life and, despite that, maintain a constant sense of justice in a world that's not fair. As a brazilian, I certainly can relate with his testimony - of a catholic, portuguese-speaking man. He describes with incredible simplicity and humanity (and that's why the book is so powerful) all his life as an East Timor resistence member, seeing your friends being killed and being himself brutally tortured and persecuted. East Timor's fight is a methaphor for the most brutal opression vs. the faith in freedom, justice and peace. And with people like Constâncio, we are reminded that peace and justice are always achievable no matter how we suffer and no matter how hard is our struggle.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent description of pre-independence Timor-Leste, and a people's struggle to become the newest country in this millennium -
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