Scandal and Democracy By Mary E. McCoy

Democratic uprisings like the massive 1998 demonstrations that forced Suharto from power are relatively easy, but successful transitions to democracies that endure are difficult and rare. The jubilant upswell of optimism anticipated that judicial corruption, electoral fraud, a politicized military, elite rent seeking and behind the scene presidential manoeuvrings would end. But rather than fleeing […]

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Gongs and Pop Songs By Jennifer A. Fraser

Studies of the musical traditions of Indonesia have long focused on practices from Java and Bali, particularly those islands’ mesmerizing gamelan orchestras, at the expense of the wide diversity of other vibrant musical forms within the archipelago. Musicologist Jennifer A. Fraser counters this tendency by exploring a little-known gong tradition called talempong that has long […]

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An Artist’s Journey to Bali By Betty Reynolds

Written and illustrated by renowned artist Betty Reynolds, An Artist’s Journey to Bali is a travelogue sketchbook that captures the culture and life of Bali in a succinct and colorful 48 pages. In this beautifully illustrated artist’s journal, the author shares her good fortune of meeting many Balinese who allowed her to witness important aspects […]

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Friends and Exiles By Des Alwi

The boy paused in front of the Japanese military camp where a former Dutch controleur (administrator) from the Aru Islands was tied up to a palm tree facing the street. Accused of killing 14 Indonesians, a board nailed to a bamboo pole bore the message in Indonesian commanding all passerby’s to slap the tall man […]

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Everyday Balinese By I Gusti Made Sutjaja

Everyday Balinese is a concise and user-friendly guide to the Balinese language targeted to anyone who wishes to learn colloquial Balinese. There are 23 lessons (not exercises) in this course book, each with a dialog that centers around daily life. These realistic beginner conversations are a great way to learn Balinese as it is really […]

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Democracy for Sale by Edward Aspinall and Ward Berenschot

What is remarkable about the free-wheeling, rough and tumble style of Indonesian politics, as compared to other “third-wave” democracies like Mexico, India and Brazil, is that every sphere of state life is essentially governed by an off-the-books shadow state. In Democracy for Sale, Edward Aspinall and Ward Berenschot assess the informal networks and political strategies […]

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Handy Pocket Guide to Tropical Herbs & Spices by Wendy Hutton

If you’ve ever wandered around an Asian wet market and saw things that you don’t have any clue about or how they could possibly be used in cooking, Handy Pocket Guide to Tropical Herbs & Spices is the book for you. This useful, portable (though not exactly “pocket” size) reference introduces 50 herbs, spices and […]

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Curious Encounters of the Human Kind: Borneo True Asian Tales of Folly, Greed, Ambition and Dreams by Paul Spencer Sochaczewski

Curious Encounters: Borneo, a collection of observances, polemical essays, flights of fantasy, keen observations and learned discussions, is a crash introduction to the physical, economic and political realities of Borneo – the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak; the small territory ruled by the Sultan of Brunei and the four Indonesian provinces that make […]

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Snow Over Surabaya by Nigel Barley

How a bored and awkward Scottish schoolgirl with a yearning for distant lands grew up to become a revolutionary hero in a remote archipelagic nation, eventually writing one of the most celebrated war novels of the 20th century, is the unlikeliest of stories, but one that Muriel Stewart Walker actually lived. Always searching for an […]

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Bandit Saints of Java by George Quinn

When Islam first arrived in Indonesia in the 15th C., it came ready-packaged in a mystical doctrine that was widely welcomed across Java. Though widespread conversion from the Hindu-Buddhist faith to Islam was complete by the 1600s, the old belief systems did not disappear. Buddhism and Hinduism had a presence on Java for 1000 years […]

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