Sep 28, 2022 Last Updated 2:22 AM, Sep 25, 2022

Reviews

The army's single function

Wing Commander Ian MacFarling has produced a well-researched book on the often misunderstood 'dual function' of Abri, the Indonesian Armed Forces.

Nineteenth century nationalism

Ahmat B. Adam, The vernacular press and the emergence of modern Indonesian consciousness (1855-1913), Cornell University, 1995. xiii, 206 pp.

Two Sumatran films

The National Library of Australia now has the most comprehensive collection of Indonesian films available outside of Indonesia. Two films in this collection come from Sumatra.

Finger in the pie

Audrey R. & George McT. Kahin, Subversion as foreign policy: The secret Eisenhower and Dulles debacle in Indonesia, New York: The New Press/ Petaling Jaya: Forum, 1995.

Timor's betrayal

James Dunn, East Timor: a people betrayed, Sydney: ABC Books, new edition 1996, 365 pp, RRP: AU$34.95.

Recovering women's history

Saskia Eleonora Wieringa, The politicization of gender relations in Indonesia: The Indonesian women's movement and Gerwani until the New Order state, Amsterdam: Universiteitsbibliotheek (PhD thesis), 1995.

A democratic Asia?

>Garry Rodan (ed.), Political oppositions in industrialising Asia Routledge Price, 1996, 338 pp. RRP: AU$36.95.

Bali's other face

Geoffrey Robinson, The dark side of Paradise: political violence in Bali, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995, xxii, 341 pp.

Pramudya film

Bernie Ijdis (director), The Great Post Road, Pieter van Huystree Film & TV (producer), Netherlands, 1996, 16mm, 150 mins.

Oh for democracy

R. William Liddle, Leadership and culture in Indonesian politics, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1996, 314pp.

Amungme dilemma

The Amung way: the subsistence strategies, the knowledge and the dilemma of the Tsinga Valley people in Irian Jaya, Indonesia, PhD thesis, University of Hawaii; Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1995, 509 pages.

Tolerant or opportunist?

Greg Barton and Greg Fealy (eds), Nahdlatul Ulama, traditional Islam and modernity in Indonesia, Clayton: Monash University Asia Institute (http://www.monash.edu.a u/mai), 1996, 294+xxvi pp, Rrp AU$29.95. Reviewed by NELLY VAN DOORN

Army observed

Robert Lowry, The Armed Forces of Indonesia, Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1996, 283 pp.

The romance of K'tut Tantri

Timothy Lindsey, The Romance of K'tut Tantri and Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1997, 362pp, Rrp AU$65. Reviewed by RON WITTON

New book, old idea

Norman Lewis, An Empire of the East, London: Jonathan Cape, 1993.Reviewed by MICHAEL HERMES

The breasts of Bali

Michel Picard, Bali: Cultural tourism and touristic culture, Singapore: Archipelago Press, 1996, 231pp Rrp: $US 25.00. Reviewed by RON WITTON

The East Timor peace process

Heike Krieger, East Timor and the international community: Basic documents, Cambridge University Press, 1997, 494+xxviii pp, hardcover, Rrp AU$160.Geoffrey C. Gunn, East Timor and the United Nations: The case for intervention, Lawrenceville, N.J: Red Sea Press, 1997, 241+vi pp, paperback, Rrp US$19.95. Avail: Red Sea Press, 11-D Princess Road, Lawrenceville, N.J., USA 08648-2319; fax: 1-609-844-0198. Reviewed by RICHARD TANTER

Reefs alive!

Tomas Tomascik, Annmarie Janice Mah, Anugerah Nontji & Mohammad Kasim Moosa, The ecology of the Indonesian seas, Singapore: Periplus, part I (ISBN 962- 593-078-7, 642pp), part II (ISBN 962-593-163-5, 745pp). Reviewed by IAN DUTTON

Murky military memoirs

Heru Cahyono, Pangkopkamtib Jenderal Soemitro dan Peristiwa 15 January '74, Pustaka Sinar Harapan, Jakarta 1998 (see Bookshop page for availability). Reviewed by DAVID BOURCHIER

Silent resistance - review

Laine Berman, Speaking through the silence: Narratives, social conventions and power in Java, New York, Oxford University Press, 1998, Hbk ISBN 019-510-8884, AU$140. Reviewed by DAMIEN KINGSBURY There has been much acknowledgement of the 'levels' of language in Javanese society. Many observers - usually half informed - have noted the 'polite' and 'refined' aspects of the language. However, with Speaking through the silence, Laine Berman not only offers one of the most detailed accounts of Javanese culture, she identifies the quite pronounced power relations inherent in the Javanese language. Berman's understanding of Javanese language and culture is based on her years of living and working in Yogyakarta, with ordinary families as well as within the confines of the palace. The focus of her study identifies the hierarchical power relations between different social levels in Javanese society, as well as between men and women. Several characters in Berman's book are well brought to life, but she saves the most attention for a young woman who works in a local garment factory. Conditions are slave-like, but she has difficulty in even talking about them, or having them listened to. The 'silence' here is that which speaks most, though the gaps in communication are noticeable throughout. 'Politeness' is maintained through a use of non-language. One cannot offend or challenge if utterances are devoid of meaning. When the protagonist does finally break loose of her restrictive 'cultural' bonds she is sacked. The lesson is that while what is defined as Javanese culture and its so-called refinement remains intact, there is little hope for the social or political emancipation of ordinary Javanese (and hence Indonesian) people. From a scholarly perspective, Berman's work is thorough and detailed and it rewards close reading. Indonesianist academics and more general anthropologists and linguists should all find this book essential reading. It is a strong work and will undoubtedly find its well deserved place within the canon of texts on Indonesia. Only those with a vested interest in the Javanese status quo, or who have a misplaced sense of appreciation for what passes for Javanese 'politeness' and 'refinement', will come away from this book disappointed. Dr Damien Kingsbury Damien.Kingsbury@arts.monash.edu.au is Executive Officer at the Monash Asia Institute, Melbourne, Australia. Inside Indonesia 58: Apr-Jun 1999

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