Communism, Religion, and Revolt in Banten in the Early Twentieth Century

By Michael Williams

“The book as a whole is well–researched. … No one interested in either Banten, the history of Indonesian communism or in peasant mobilization, can afford to pass up this book.”

Martin van Bruinessen

“Having myself done some research on Tan Malaka’s presence in this region and having met several of the main actors in the scenes discussed in the closing chapters of the book …it is a great pleasure to be able to read this important contribution to our understanding of Banten in revolt.”

Helen Jarvis, University of New South Wales, Journal of Southeast Asia Studies

Twice in this century popular revolts against colonial rule have occured in the Banten district of West Java. These revolts, conducted largely under an Islamic leadership, also proclaimed themselves Communist. Islamic Communism is seemingly a paradox. This is especially the case when one considers that probably no religion has proved more resistant to Communist ideology than Islam.

Michael Williams here details the complicated history of the Bantenese revolts in the twentieth century and probes the ideological riddle of Islamic Communism. Modern history is replete with examples of regions with a long history of organizing themselves politically to resist intrusion on their territory, resources, and people. This book establishes that in Indonesia, the Bantenese were among the most practiced exponents of resistance.

Michael C. Williams is senior commentator, BBC Far Eastern Service, Strand, London, WC2, England.



Retail price: $32.95, S.
Release date: Mar. 1990
404 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights: World