Factory Daughters by Diane L. Wolf

The commercialization of agriculture, increasing landlessness and the exploitation of an expanding labor class are the overriding themes of Factory Daughters. Through the stories of individual women striving for independence, the author of this groundbreaking study clearly identifies and explains the unbelievably complex dynamics of class, gender and agrarian change wrought by industrialized capitalism in […]

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Looking for Bali by Michael Dean Morgan

Photographer and writer Michael Dean Morgan has admirably captured in his new Looking for Bali the rhythms of everyday Balinese life. In these images can be seen the familiar routines carried out in many areas of island – a family-run roadside warung, an old woman walking a lonely village path, a bride posing in all her regalia […]

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A Brief History of Bali by Willard A. Hanna and Tim Hannigan

There are no shortages of excellent scholarly histories about Bali. Henk Schulte Nordholt’s heavy weight The Spell of Power and Adrian Vickers’ revisionist Bali: A Paradise Created are several that spring immediately to mind. These venerable tomes have accomplished their task well by presenting the island’s linear history from a systematic, academic perspective. A Brief History of […]

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Survival Stories by Land and by Sea

Among the scores of memoirs written by military men describing their wartime survival stories and escapes from POW camps, two books published by Monsoon Books (www.monsoonbooks.co.uk) stand out. These true accounts were written in simple words without literary embroidery by servicemen who fought the Japanese during the invasion of Singapore in WW II. One is […]

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The Death of Authentic Primitive Art by Shelly Errington

As it’s provocative title suggests, the long, slow, irreversible death of primitive art is the subject of this important, very readable and refreshingly contrarian view of the Primitive Art world of museums, art theorists, mail-order catalogs, boutiques, tourism and world events. Ironically, the artifacts and textiles of marginalized people like the Papuans, Dayaks and Lesser […]

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Survival Indonesian and My First Book of Indonesian Words

These two Indonesian language books, though meant for readerships at opposite ends of the spectrum of life experience, are both beginning language learning aids. One is aimed at a child and the other at the seasoned traveler. The first helps a very young person to start learning the language and culture while the other helps […]

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The Wisdom of Whores by Elizabeth Pisani

The Wisdom of Whores is a passionate, intensely honest and thankfully politically incorrect book that tells how sex and drugs have turned the global epidemic of HIV into a billion-dollar-a-year industry. Elizabeth Pisani, who studied AIDS for 14 years, shows sides of Indonesia that we didn’t know existed and takes a no-holds-barred approach to finding […]

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Drought by Iwan Simatupang

For more than 100 years, the Indonesian government’s solution to overpopulation was the magic cure-all transmigrasi, first instituted by the Dutch in 1905. Transmigration involves relocating people from densely populated “inner islands” such as Java, Bali and Lombok to more sparsely populated Outer Islands like Kalimantan, Nusatenggara, Sulawesi, Sumatra and Papua. Under the massive program, […]

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Retired, Rewired by Cat Wheeler

As Bali’s population of resident Westerners ages, a whole genre of homegrown literature has emerged: The Bali Expat Memoir. Often self-published, these books are written by restaurateurs, musicologists, impresarios, home birthers, art collectors,   tourismpioneers, etc. Cat Wheeler stands in the top rank of these contemporary Bali-based writers, taking her place among other women who have shared […]

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Like the Moon and the Sun by Stanley Harsha

As angry mobs screamed “Satan!” and pelted the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta with projectiles, American diplomat Stanley Harsha – author of Like the Moon and the Sun – smiled to himself and remarked that people were at least free to express themselves in contrast to the brutal suppression of free speech in the Suharto era. […]

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