By Greg Barton

ISBN-10: 0868404055

ISBN-13: 9780868404059

In humiliating conditions, Indonesia's fourth president, Abdurrahman Wahid used to be pressured from workplace in August 2001 after below years within the task. Wahid, virtually blind and bodily vulnerable after a couple of strokes, used to be broadly misunderstood within the West, even being noticeable as a a little comical determine. yet in Indonesia the Muslim pupil affectionately referred to as Gus Dur to hundreds of thousands of individuals had lengthy been respected through lots of his countrymen and hugely revered via the country's elites. His lifestyles have been one in every of nice public carrier to his fellow voters, his faith and his trust in liberal democracy. during this accepted biography, a lot of it according to detailed first-hand remark, Greg Barton introduces us to either the guy and his global and makes an attempt to make experience of his debatable public occupation and presidency. Barton has identified Wahid for the reason that 1989, whilst he all started gaining knowledge of the effect of Islamic liberalism in Indonesia, and has therefore spend many months together with his topic, together with seven months in the course of Wahid's 21-month presidency, either in Indonesia and traveling with him in another country. somebody who's in any respect attracted to the drama of contemporary Indonesia will locate this view from the interior to be a necessary learn.

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Additional resources for Abdurrahman Wahid, Muslim Democrat, Indonesian President: A View from the Inside

Sample text

When questioned about whether he had any chance of becoming president, Abdurrahman would typically reply in an ambiguous fashion. As early as July 1998 he told me, jokingly, or so it seemed at the time, that if there was no one else to do the job he might be prepared to do it. At the time I dismissed such talk as being somehow associated with his illness, his frustration at his loss of eyesight and struggle for recovery. While I could detect no major signs of personality change after his January stroke, it seemed to me that talk about becoming president might indeed represent precisely the sort of wishful thinking that many took to be a sign of deterioration in his mental health following his illness.

His enemies, publicly at least, dismissed his determination as mere delusion. Others, more out of compassion than malice, simply wondered aloud why he did not simply give up. For Abdurrahman himself, however, giving up was never an option. He saw himself locked in mortal combat with the forces of the former regime, both civilian and military, who he felt were determined to do anything to stop the onward process of reform. If one was to believe his enemies he was, at best, a tragic, quixotic has-been who saw dragons where sane men saw windmills.

1 Indonesian society. Indeed, in 1990 the well-regarded weekly news magazine Editor named him their ‘Man of the Year’. Their issue of 22 December that year ran fifteen pages about Abdurrahman. The subheading on the cover read ‘The year of Islam’s stirring in Indonesia’. The heading on the lead story read ‘A mosaic whose name is Abdurrahman Wahid’; the subheading was ‘Gus Dur, man of the year 1990, often controversial and not afraid to be independent’. This was a special issue of Editor, but it was hardly the first time that Abdurrahman’s face had graced the cover.

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Abdurrahman Wahid, Muslim Democrat, Indonesian President: A View from the Inside by Greg Barton


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