A Brief History of Indonesia; Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of Southeast Asia's Largest Nation.

Author:BeVier, Thomas
Position:Brief article - Book review

Tim Hannigan; A BRIEF HISTORY OF INDONESIA; Tuttle Publishing (Nonfiction: Travel) 16.95 ISBN: 9780804844765

Byline: Thomas BeVier

Indonesia, the largest nation in Southeast Asia, is an enigma. The nation is not a singular landmass, like most other nations. It is some 17,500 islands, about half of which are uninhabited, scattered along the equator above Australia. It is the so-called Spice Islands of history and, in the present time, has the fourth largest population in the world (237 million and growing rapidly), with a Muslim majority and tangled mix of other religions and ethnicities.

It's a yeoman chore to sort out its geography and history -- it didn't officially become a nation until the end of World War II -- and bring it to the...

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