THE COMMUNIST COLLAPSE IN INDONESIA by Arnold C. Brackman

THE COMMUNIST COLLAPSE IN INDONESIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Brackman, author of Indonesian Communism: A History (1963) and Southeast Asia's Second Front: The Power Struggle in the Malay Archipelago (1965), has been intimately associated with Southeast Asia as journalist and writer since the early days of Indonesia's revolution. This book is a detailed study of the collapse of the Indonesian Communist movement (PKI) in 1965 and its impact on contemporary Asian history. Brackman argues that the failure of the abortive PKI-Sukarno ""coup"" of September 30 aimed at eliminating the Army general Staff and the success of the Army counterthrust was ""perhaps the most epochal event in Asia since Mao's rise to power on the Chinese mainland."" The PKI leadership was largely liquidated and its mass base shattered; the world's third largest Communist Party was destroyed. at the height of its power, within a hairsbreadth of victory. Brackman's sympathies are clearly not with the Communists, his Sukarno is a ""neofascist dictator allied to Moscow and Peking as it suited his interests,"" and he considers the post-coup bloodbath that claimed an estimated 150,000 lives ""more akin to civil war than mass murder."" Since his primary source was interviews with Indonesian friends and leaders in 1968, one must assume that the Communist side was underrepresented. Yet the book reflects considerable knowledge of the Indonesian scene, and should be a valuable if not completely balanced source for students of Asian affairs.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1969
ISBN: 0393053776
Publisher: Norton