Indonesia’s struggle for independence, which reached its peak in the 1940s, has long been seen as a conflict between colonizer the Netherlands and the colonized East Indies. But in reality it was world history. David Van Reybrouck’s Revolusi is the first book that takes the struggle out of the national perspective and shows its importance as a global event.
Indonesia was the first country to declare its independence after World War II. After the Japanese occupation, young rebels violently resisted any new form of domination. British, Australian and especially Dutch troops were supposed to bring peace and order, but their presence actually sparked the first modern decolonization war. That struggle inspired independence movements in Asia, Africa and the Arab world, especially when free Indonesia organized the legendary Bandung Conference in 1955, the first world congress without the West. The world had become involved with the Revolusi and the world had been changed by it.