After World War II, many countries that had lived under the shadow of colonialism longed to rebuild and strengthen themselves with their newfound autonomy. While the Cold War intensified, Third World countries were optimistic as they solidified bonds amongst each other, ready for a new future. Juxtaposing personal narratives with the violent events that occurred in Jakarta--a swift and bloody annihilation of suspected communists that resulted in the deaths of an estimated one million Indonesians--Bevins recounts how that initial post-war optimism clashed with the US's violent suppression of such dreams in their quest to end communism. The scorched earth approach extended to Latin America, and Bevins emphasizes that when America wasn't directly involved in the killings, they installed governments that were. A chilling portrait of a little-known chapter in America’s violent history, Bevin's study holds the imperial war machine to account and wonders if its cost to human life was worth it.
The Jakarta Method, by Vincent Bevins
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Published: PublicAffairs - April 27th, 2021