Education About Asia: Online Archives

Modern Indonesia: A History Since 1945

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Indonesia is hardly known by most Americans, even among the most educated elite. That reality was particularly clear last year
as President Suharto saw his thirty-three-year reign coming to a close under the twin burdens of economic meltdown and political
challenge. As the tensions rose, until well into the drama, the New York Times, that most elite of American newspapers, continued to
refer to Suharto merely as the “leader” of Indonesia as if he were no more than another revolving-door prime minister of the sort that
used to be so common in Italy, or Japan more recently. Clearly the Times assumed, probably rightly, that readers—even their readers—
would not recognize his name.

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