Though it is the fourth-most populous country in the world and has great strategic significance, there is a profound ignorance about Indonesia in the United States. A respected diplomat with long experience in Indonesia, Gardner has written a comprehensive account of U.S.-Indonesian relations since the birth of the Republic of Indonesia in 1945. He draws on official U.S. documents and the recollections of key actors on both sides. What makes this volume stand out is not only that the author has the good diplomat's sense of history but the good journalist's instinct for the colorful quotation. He brings the half-century of U.S.-Indonesian relations to life by recounting the firsthand impressions of diplomats, military men, and political leaders who participated in the events. The result is a balanced historical account and a good read.
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