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The Jakarta Method

The Jakarta Method

Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World

The hidden story of the wanton slaughter — in Indonesia, Latin America, and around the world — backed by the United States.

In 1965, the U.S. government helped the Indonesian military kill approximately one million innocent civilians. This was one of the most important turning points of the twentieth century, eliminating the largest communist party outside China and the Soviet Union and inspiring copycat terror programs in faraway countries like Brazil and Chile. But these events remain widely overlooked, precisely because the CIA’s secret interventions were so successful.

In this bold and comprehensive new history, Vincent Bevins builds on his incisive reporting for the Washington Post, using recently declassified documents, archival research and eye-witness testimony collected across twelve countries to reveal a shocking legacy that spans the globe. For decades, it’s been believed that parts of the developing world passed peacefully into the U.S.-led capitalist system. The Jakarta Method demonstrates that the brutal extermination of unarmed leftists was a fundamental part of Washington’s final triumph in the Cold War.

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Genre: Nonfiction / Political Science / Genocide & War Crimes

On Sale: May 19th 2020

Price: $25.98 / $32.98 (CAD)

ISBN-13: 9781549101694

What's Inside

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Praise

"A shocking portrait that few readers will forget....[Bevins's] research is solid and his conclusions convincing. A well-delineated excavation of yet another dark corner of American history."—Kirkus Reviews
"Trenchant....Powerful....[Bevins] translates the findings of complex scholarly accounts into smooth and readable, if often heartbreaking, prose."
Boston Review
"Riveting....As a polemic, The Jakarta Method is never anything less than conscientious and persuasive, but Bevins's book truly takes flight as a work of narrative journalism, tracing the history of America's violent meddling in Southeast Asia and Latin America through the stories of those it brutalized."
Jacobin
"Essential and devastating."
Joshua Oppenheimer, director of The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence
"In The Jakarta Method, Vincent Bevins argues persuasively that during the Cold War, the U.S. approved of mass murder campaigns to roll back communism in the Third World. This is a provocative, necessary book, an essential guide to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of our imperfect world. Highly recommended."—Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker staff writer, author of Che Guevara and Inside the League
"Truly captivating.... Vincent Bevins offers us a compelling historical narrative, which he combines with thorough analysis and deeply personal reflections. He merges the big story of the Cold War with the stories of real individuals whose lives were profoundly affected. He masterfully connects the 1964 Brazil coup with the mass violence that took place in Indonesia in 1965, before connecting that slaughter with a series of mass murder programs in Latin America and around the world. In doing so, he offers new knowledge and insights not only into the brutal anticommunist purge in Indonesia, but into the ways that US foreign policy reshaped the world following the Second World War. Bevins is a brilliant and compassionate writer, and The Jakarta Method is eye-opening. I really hope the world pays attention to this book."—Baskara T. Wardaya, Sanata Dharma University Indonesia, author of 1965 and Truth Will Out
"This fascinating book is a meticulous and shocking analysis of a little-known and horrifically bloody battle of the Cold War, but it is also something more. It places the Indonesia massacre of 1965 in its global context, showing how the United States both supported it and used it as a model for repression in other countries."—Stephen Kinzer, author of Overthrow, All the Shah's Men and Poisoner in Chief
"The Jakarta Method is a gripping, thoroughly original exploration into the global covert Cold War, the passions it provoked, and the corpses it left in its wake. A full tally of the body count of the transnational counterinsurgency Washington has been waging since the early 1960s is impossible. But Bevins' excellent book offers a different kind of reckoning, of moral costs and ongoing political consequences. 'Jakarta is coming' was spray-painted on the walls of Santiago Chile in 1972, just before that country's CIA-backed coup, a way for that nation's rich to let the poor know the fate that would befall them were they to continue to fight for a more just society. 'Jakarta' did come, leaving hundreds of thousands of dead throughout Latin America. And, in a way, it never left."—Greg Grandin, Yale University, author of Fordlandia and The End of the Myth
"Tragically, that which everyone believed we had left in the past has returned to spread throughout Latin America once more. The Jakarta Method allows us to understand the moment that Brazil is now living through, and its connection to a much larger, global scheme."—Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage
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Meet The Author: Vincent Bevins

Vincent Bevins is an award-winning journalist and correspondent. He covered Southeast Asia for the Washington Post, reporting from across the entire region and paying special attention to the legacy of the 1965 massacre in Indonesia. He previously served as the Brazil correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, also covering nearby parts of South America, and before that he worked for the Financial Times in London.

Among the other publications he has written for are the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Economist, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, the New York Review of Books, Folha de S.Paulo, The New Republic, The New Inquiry, The Awl, The Baffler, and New York magazine. Vincent was born and raised in California and spent the last few years living in Jakarta.

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