Suharto is synonymous with modern Indonesia. He came to the leadership of Indonesia amidst extreme social upheaval and mass violence in 1966 and established an enduring regime known as the 'New Order'. He remained in command of the world's fourth most populous country until his dramatic fall from power in 1998. This book provides fascinating insights into a man who rose from humble beginnings to exert extraordinary power over a complex and volatile nation. He presented himself as an infallible father of Indonesia, yet he remained a mysterious and puzzling figure. He sought to transform Indonesia into a strong, united and economically prosperous nation, but he is remembered today for human rights abuses and profound corruption. The system of power he created collapsed with his decline, and he left a problematic legacy for Indonesia's current leaders as they seek to create a new beginning for their country.
R. E. Elson is Professor in the School of Asian and International Studies at Griffith University.
Timeline; Introduction; 1. Beginnings and youth; 2. Soldier in the revolution; 3. Central Java commands, 1950-9; 4. High office, 1959-65; 5. The coup attempt; 6. The move to power, 1965-8; 7. Legitimation and consolidation, 1968-73; 8. Negotiating the problems of the New Order, 1973-83; 9. Ascendancy; 10. Decline, fall, accounting; 11. The man and his legacy; Glossary.