BIRDS' NESTS IN THEIR BEARDS by William Stevenson

BIRDS' NESTS IN THEIR BEARDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

At work in the stranger than fiction department, William Stevenson was Far East Correspondent for the Canadian Broadcasting Company when he went to North Borneo in 1958 to investigate an advertisement offering Birds' Nests to a wide Asian market. He found himself in a den of anti-Sukarno rebels plotting the downfall of the Indonesian government with profits from smuggled copra. Written in racy journalese, the book describes Stevenson's misadventures tracking down these rebels in and about Indonesia. He meets plenty of three-dimensional characters: anti-communist Dr. umitro, who changes disguises like a chameleon; an eye-filling lady revolutionary who works both sides, and, lastly, President Sukarno himself, frothing Castro-like at the masses. Stevenson is an angry man, furious at the ""imbecility of the Western Powers"" which did not recognize soon enough that Indonesia had become the front for communist ambitions in the East Indies. Sandwiching current history between incidents, he traces in particular the roots of Indonesia's campaign against the formation of the Malaysian Federation. The book's prime virtue is its 100% topicality. It will undoubtedly be banned in Djakarta.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1963
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin