The Road to Madiun: The Indonesian Communist Uprising of 1948

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Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University, 1989 - History - 116 pages
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This thesis on Madiun was written during a year spent at Cornell studying Southeast Asia on a State Department training program. I had just come from a three-year assignment in Indonesia (1968-1971) and was being trained for more service in the area. Searching for a thesis topic, I was drawn to the Madiun period: it was one of the most turbulent periods of the Indonesian revolution and one which had stirred a reasonable amount of controversy. I decided to take an in-depth look at the period, trying to come at it from an Indonesian perspective while keeping an eye cocked to world events.

My methodology was simple: I read everything I could find on the subject and talked to as many people as possible. The further I got into my research, the more I realized that the key to understanding what had actually happened in 1948 was the newspapers of the period. These happily were available in abundance in Cornell's outstanding library and gave me not only an accurate chronology of events but a first-hand look at how people of the period viewed those events at the time-without the disadvantage of hindsight.

I made what were to me some fascinating discoveries (historians' views of "fascinating" can be a bit obscure) and produced a thesis which is probably a bit more than most people would really like to know about the period. Hating to leave out anything, I added footnotes almost as long as the thesis itself.

I had no preconceived notions when I started the thesis and tried to maintain my objectivity throughout. I was not looking for a particular solution to "what happened" and perhaps because of this, the thesis lacks a resounding conclusion. I hope, however, it will add a bit to the knowledge of the period. - "Ann Swift, June 1988"

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