HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

A Nation in Waiting: Indonesia in the 1990s

by Adam Schwarz

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
674296,790 (4.13)None
In A Nation in Waiting, Adam Schwarz spans a wide variety of issues of concern in today's Indonesia, providing a detailed view of one of the world's most populous, yet least-understood, nations. He chronicles the major economic and political changes recorded during former President Suharto's thirty-one-year tenure, and the present economic and political crisis. In this fully updated second edition, Schwarz analyzes the impact of Suharto's resignation on the political, economic, and social life of Indonesia.… (more)
  1. 00
    Guns, Girls, Gambling, Ganja: Thailand's Illegal Economy and Public Policy by Pasuk Phongpaichit (mercure)
    mercure: "No more corruption, collusion, and nepotism" (KKN) was the battle cry in the final days of the Soeharto regime. But KKN is a common feature of most of Southeast Asia. Guns, Girls, Gambling, Ganja tells you how corruption and collusion worked in Thailand.
  2. 00
    Jakarta, Jakarta: Reportages uit Indonesie (mercure)
    mercure: Both books are written by journalists covering Indonesia, and look at the latter years of Soeharto's Orde Baru from a slightly different perspective, therefore enhancing each other.
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 4 of 4
I have another copy in Bali.

"When I arrived in Indonesia in 1987," writes journalist Adam Schwarz, "the last thing on my mind was to write a book about the place." A correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review for five years, Schwarz found himself seduced by Indonesia's beauty while acutely aware of its behind-the-scenes political and economic intensity.

Indonesia, with its thousands of islands, hundreds of languages and cultural groups, and a population of over 180 million remains a stranger to the international community. Even in Asia, the country is little understood. Why? Indonesia didn't achieve its independence from centuries of colonial rule until after World War II. And General Soeharto, who governed since 1966 (and still did at the time of this book's writing), was a conservative leader, fiercely anticommunist and inward-looking, whose politics were "... repressive, highly stylized and formulaic." This is a book mainly about Soeharto and his style of leadership. Convinced that party politics led inevitably to national instability, he focused instead on economic development. Schwarz examines this in the full light of Soeharto's nepotism, his children's abuse of privilege, and the drain on the Indonesian economy at the hands of crony businessmen.

Only 30 years ago, Indonesia was an impoverished, agrarian nation. Schwarz explores the impact of economic development on the culture itself; the transition, for example, of a population from rural to urban; the exposure, thus, of a broader population to outside information and ideas. Progress would continue to hit the wall of Soeharto's rigid political system.

With an insider's knowledge, Schwarz articulates the major challenges to an Indonesia still under Soeharto's rule--economic reform; creating a consensus of economic policy; racial tensions; corruption and nepotism; and the East Timor problem, among others. His introductory words hang somewhere between prescience and hindsight when he writes: "There are many roads Indonesia could take through the 1990s. Some would lead to a smooth transition of power, others would not. Soeharto may choose to recognize the pressures for a change in governance ... or he may continue to avert his eyes."

Written and published before the Asian economic crisis and the fall of the Soeharto government in May of 1998, A Nation in Waiting will be read more as an explanation of how things came to be instead of for its current political and economic assessment. Prophetic statements--"The nation's political edifice, which by the early 1990s had become precariously dependent on one man, is beginning to show its age. More and more educated Indonesians see Soeharto's brand of leadership ... as now outdated, excessively paternalistic and a hindrance to national development"--now function ironically as a backward glance shedding light on the bloodless May revolution. --Hollis Giammatteo
  Alhickey1 | Feb 7, 2020 |
"A Nation in Waiting" (1994) by Adam Schwarz is a meticulously detailed account of the political history of Indonesia under Suharto. On the upside, Schwarz demonstrates great insight and careful coverage of political factions and stakeholders in Indonesia, providing comprehensive background information that would be hard or impossible to obtain from news articles, interviews, or other sources. Schwarz' work will be a great resource for historians of the Suharto period.

On the downside, the vast majority of the book was written when Suharto was still in power. Only a small section added onto the end concerns his downfall, and nothing in the book is particularly recent. Combine this with the fact that Indonesia has been changing so rapidly, and the result is that almost all of the information in the book is obsolete. Even the title is now a misnomer. Indonesia is no longer a nation in waiting; it is a nation on the move, with a GDP that grew by almost 10x in the 12 years after Suharto's fall.

For most readers interested in modern Indonesia for practical purposes, such as to inform a visit or business in Indonesia, I think Schwarz' book is not the right choice. However, for a reader primarily interested in history, and who isn't put off by highly detailed and sometimes dry coverage, Schwarz' book is a unique resource and a gold mine of data. ( )
  jrissman | Feb 8, 2018 |
If you only read one book about 20th century Indonesia, make sure it is A Nation in Waiting. The political landscape has suffered an earthquake since the book was written (even since it was updated) but this remains the most authoritative work on the Suharto years. Earthquake or no, his legacy will continue to shape the country for decades to come.
Disclosure: friend of the author's. But also former journalistic competitor, so praise given grudgingly! ( )
  ElizabethPisani | Apr 19, 2008 |
This book has been the primary cause of all intervention to NU leadership by Suharto as K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid called him as stupid leader. Reading this book simply just like having compilation of Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER) articles of Indonesia written by Adam Schwarz. ( )
  awicaks | Dec 31, 2005 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
In A Nation in Waiting, Adam Schwarz spans a wide variety of issues of concern in today's Indonesia, providing a detailed view of one of the world's most populous, yet least-understood, nations. He chronicles the major economic and political changes recorded during former President Suharto's thirty-one-year tenure, and the present economic and political crisis. In this fully updated second edition, Schwarz analyzes the impact of Suharto's resignation on the political, economic, and social life of Indonesia.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.13)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3 2
3.5
4 3
4.5
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 151,768,304 books! | Top bar: Always visible