Recruit to Revolution: Adventure and Politics during the Indonesian Struggle for Independance
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336pp. July 2015
Recruit to Revolution: Adventure and Politics during the Indonesian Struggle for Independance
Author: Coast, John; Editor: Noszlopy, Laura;
This gripping memoir narrates the formative years of the Indonesian nation through the lens of English adventurer John Coast. After years in Japanese POW camps where he first met Indonesians and learned Malay, this young British officer made his way back to Southeast Asia in order to help Indonesian Republicans in their struggle against Dutch rule. In time he became a trusted friend and employee of the new nation. John Coast’s life story is entangled with the history of the revolution: blockade-running; broadcasting from the besieged rebel capital; advocating for the Republicans to the press and politicians abroad; and having long discussions with president-to-be Sukarno. Later, John Coast and Sukarno’s shared love of Balinese music and dance bore fruit in the famous Dancers of Bali tour of the West End and Broadway, which in turn paved the way for Coast’s career as a leading international theatrical agent for the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar and Mario Lanza.

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Distributed for NIAS Press (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies)
Author: Coast, John; Editor: Noszlopy, Laura;
John Alan Coast (1916–1989) was an extraordinary man, an art-lover and a adventurer. With a career ranging from bank clerk, through prisoner of war, revolutionary and press advisor to Indonesia’s President Sukarno, producer of the famous Dancers of Bali tour of 1953, to international theatre impresario and agent to the stars, John Coast always sought out “something exciting yet useful to do”. He was also an accomplished writer and memoirist, who wrote detailed and vivid accounts of how his life tangled with world events. Originally published in 1952, Recruit to Revolution was his second book. Dr Laura Noszlopy is an anthropologist, historian, editor and translator specialising in Indonesian arts, culture and society. She is currently working on a biography of John Coast.



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