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Other titles in the Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity series:
"If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die": How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor (Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity)
Synopses & Reviews
This is a book about a terrible spate of mass violence. It is also about a rare success in bringing such violence to an end. "If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die" tells the story of East Timor, a half-island that suffered genocide after Indonesia invaded in 1975, and which was again laid to waste after the population voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999. Before international forces intervened, more than half the population had been displaced and 1,500 people killed. Geoffrey Robinson, an expert in Southeast Asian history, was in East Timor with the United Nations in 1999 and provides a gripping first-person account of the violence, as well as a rigorous assessment of the politics and history behind it.
Robinson debunks claims that the militias committing the violence in East Timor acted spontaneously, attributing their actions instead to the calculation of Indonesian leaders, and to a "culture of terror" within the Indonesian army. He argues that major powers--notably the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom--were complicit in the genocide of the late 1970s and the violence of 1999. At the same time, Robinson stresses that armed intervention supported by those powers in late 1999 was vital in averting a second genocide. Advocating accountability, the book chronicles the failure to bring those responsible for the violence to justice.
A riveting narrative filled with personal observations, documentary evidence, and eyewitness accounts, "If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die" engages essential questions about political violence, international humanitarian intervention, genocide, and transitional justice.
Book News Annotation:
Although this book by Robinson (history, U. of California at Los Angeles) began its life as a personal memoir of the systemic violence that followed the 1999 UN-supervised vote for independence in East Timor, where he had been working as a Political Affairs Officer with the United Nations Mission in East Timor, he has since incorporated academic work and human rights reporting he conducted for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and East Timor's Commission for Reception, Truth, an Reconciliation (among others), resulting in a hybrid work that describes the history of violence in East Timor since the era of Portuguese colonial rule, analyzes the causes of violence and its abatement in 1999, and recounts some of his own experiences of that violence. His analysis highlights the roles of states in spurring genocidal violence and defends, at least in principle, international interventions to stop violence, noting that the violence of 1999 was halted before it could rise to the genocidal levels of the early 1970s, following the invasion of East Timor by Indonesia. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Before the Nazis came to power in Germany, Soviet officials labeled the United States the most racist country in the world. Photographs, childrenand#8217;s stories, films, newspaper articles, political education campaigns, and court proceedings exposed the hypocrisy of Americaand#8217;s racial democracy. In contrast, the Soviets represented the USSR itself as a superior society where racism was absent and identified African Americans as valued allies in resisting an imminent imperialist war against the first workersand#8217; state.
Meredith L. Romanand#8217;s Opposing Jim Crow examines the period between 1928 and 1937, when the promotion of antiracism by party and trade union officials in Moscow became a priority policy. Soviet leaders stood to gain considerable propagandistic value at home and abroad by drawing attention to U.S. racism, their actions simultaneously directed attention to the routine violation of human rights that African Americans suffered as citizens of the United States. Soviet policy also challenged the prevailing white supremacist notion that blacks were biologically inferior and thus unworthy of equality with whites. African Americans of various political and socioeconomic backgrounds became indispensable contributors to Soviet antiracism and helped officials in Moscow challenge the United Statesand#8217; claim to be the worldand#8217;s beacon of democracy and freedom.
"Those of us with a special interest in the final frenzy of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor will be deeply grateful to Geoffrey Robinson for the narrative power and depth of insight that makes his book the outstanding treatment of these events. But the value of his book goes far beyond that: as a historian who has thought deeply about political violence, as a human rights practitioner familiar with the ways of states and institutions that perpetrate and condone massive human rights abuses, and as a reflective participant in the UN mission that oversaw the referendum on East Timor's independence, Robinson is uniquely qualified to bring out the wider meanings of what happened in East Timor in 1999, and triumphantly succeeds in doing so."--Anthony Goldstone, coeditor of Chega!: Final Report of the East Timor Commission for Reception, Truth, and Reconciliation
"This is the single most important book about the complex and dramatic events of 1999 in East Timor. Combining a scholarly analysis of violence with first-person reporting, it provides a profound and nuanced understanding of recent East Timorese history."--John Roosa, University of British Columbia
"In this outstanding book, Robinson provides an authoritative and gripping account of the violence visited upon East Timor by the Indonesian Armed Forces that is unparalleled in documentation, sophistication, and insight. His appraisal of the conditions enabling the belated United Nations intervention in East Timor is likewise unrivalled in its combination of scholarly analysis and insider insights."--John Sidel, London School of Economics and Political Science
About the Author
Geoffrey Robinson is professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles. His books include "The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali". Before coming to UCLA, he worked for six years at Amnesty International's headquarters in London. From June to November 1999, he served as a political affairs officer with the United Nations in Dili, East Timor. Robinson lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations xv
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1
CHAPTER TWO: COLONIAL LEGACIES 21
CHAPTER THREE: INVASION AND GENOCIDE 40
CHAPTER FOUR: OCCUPATION AND RESISTANCE 66
CHAPTER FIVE: MOBILIZING THE MILITIAS 92
CHAPTER SIX: BEARING WITNESS--TEMPTING FATE 115
CHAPTER SEVEN: THE VOTE 139
CHAPTER EIGHT: A CAMPAIGN OF VIOLENCE 161
CHAPTER NINE: INTERVENTION 185
CHAPTER TEN: JUSTICE AND RECONCILIATION 205
CHAPTER ELEVEN: CONCLUSIONS 229
A Note on Sources 295
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History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Racism and Ethnic Conflict