THIS IS A STORY of culture, religion and politics in Indonesia in the eyes of Stanley Harsha, a former United States diplomat who had a “love affair” with Indonesia for almost 30 years. Acculturated into a Javanese family through marriage, the author offers perspectives on Indonesia’s rich multicultural society and intimate views of its customs. The book explains why Indonesian Islam is tolerant and peaceful.
THE BOOK COMPARES United States and Indonesian societies, two nations that today both have populist presidents, Barack Obama and Joko Widodo (Jokowi). Based on first-hand experience, the author describes Indonesia’s peaceful transition from a dictatorship to the world’s third largest democracy, critically analyzing religion, human rights and the war against terrorism.
“More than a diplomat who has had repeated assignments to Indonesia, Stanley Harsha is someone who truly loves Indonesia. His understanding of Indonesian culture and politics is absolutely impressive. This book should be read by anyone who is interested in learning about Indonesian relations with America.” Adnan Buyung Nasution, Indonesian human rights lawyer
“In Indonesia, America is not only about the CIA, Dick Cheney and the Iraq War but also about Stanley Harsha, a diplomat falling in love in with a Javanese girl, trying to understand her sultanate or the Aceh separatist movement.” Andreas Harsono, Indonesian journalist and human rights researcher in Jakarta
“My friend Stan Harsha has written a very personal account of his journey through Indonesia, as a husband, father and diplomat. Touchingly frank, it should help ordinary Indonesians better understand Americans and America’s complex relationship with their country.” Michael Vatikiotis, Regional Director Asia, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue
“This book is more than just a collection of interesting anecdotes from Stanley Harsha’s personal and professional experiences and his deep love for America and Indonesia. Whether read in parts or in its entirety, the book carries an overriding message of love and peace as experienced by a man who spent his entire career life and beyond building vital bridges between nations.” Endy Bayuni, Senior Editor of The Jakarta Post