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Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture (Kathleen M. Adams)

ISBN: 978-0-924-304-89-7. 132 pages. Paperback.

Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture offers a concise, engaging introduction to the historical, political and cultural dynamics of Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation and home to the world’s largest and most diverse Muslim population. Interweaving brief, anthropologically-informed stories of aspects of everyday life in Indonesia with broader historical accounts of this region, Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture provides textured insights into this vibrant and dynamic archipelago.

Inter-cultural encounters and exchanges as well as globalization are central to Indonesia’s story. Adams organizes the book historically, yet each chapter spotlights how the past resonates in contemporary times. Each chapter open with an image or object that lends insights into a particular era in Indonesia’s history. Chapters highlight Indonesia’s natural landscape, linguistic and cultural diversity, prehistory, eras of Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic influence, as well as Chinese and European precolonial trade dynamics. Also addressed are the rise of Dutch colonialism in the archipelago, the Japanese Occupation during World War II, and the struggle for Indonesian independence. Additional chapters cover Indonesia’s more recent periods of Guided Democracy, the New Order, and Reformasi, and the final chapter reflects on Indonesia’s current challenges and promises for the future.

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