An Empire of the East: Travels in Indonesia Norman Lewis

ISBN: 9780224032308

Published:

Hardcover

256 pages


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An Empire of the East: Travels in Indonesia  by  Norman Lewis

An Empire of the East: Travels in Indonesia by Norman Lewis
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 256 pages | ISBN: 9780224032308 | 8.69 Mb

The legendary East Indies is today a nation archipelago of 13,677 islands, stretching 3,000 miles from the southwestern tip of Thailand east to the coral sea near Australia, and containing a variety of natural wonders and breathtaking vistas, uniqueMoreThe legendary East Indies is today a nation archipelago of 13,677 islands, stretching 3,000 miles from the southwestern tip of Thailand east to the coral sea near Australia, and containing a variety of natural wonders and breathtaking vistas, unique wildlife, and some 300 cultures of striking diversity - one of which is little changed since the Stone Age.

Abundantly rich in resources, the worlds largest Muslim state, and home to 200 million people, Indonesia sits strategically astride the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is also a rigid totalitarian state whose rulers have made it their business to keep nosy foreigners away. And there has been much to hide - from the slaughter of one million Timorese to the devastation of rain forests on a Brazilian scale. Norman Lewis visits remnant rain forests of North Sumatra, in the hope of observing the richest fauna and flora in the world, but runs into a separatist insurrection and is deserted by his guide.

East Timor - the former Portuguese colony where one third of the population has been killed in the war following the Indonesian invasion in 1975 - is notoriously hard to enter. But, during a lull in the fighting, Lewis travels there with his daughter, stays in a Catholic orphanage, and returns with an account of the life of the survivors that is deeply moving as well as of outstanding historical interest.

In the highlands of Irian Jaya (West New Guinea) he learns of the existence of the Yali tribal communities, where men, naked except for penis gourds, cultivate the earth with stone adzes. Apart from missionaries, Lewis is only the second white man to reach the settlement. Nevertheless, his Yali hosts, presumed to have tasted human flesh, are courteous and kindly, always ready to rush to his assistance as he negotiates a slippery path or crosses a turbulent stream. Lewis avoids the tinkling bells of mass tourism and uniformity to seek out the genuine. A fine book, writes Anthony Burgess- the doyen of English travel



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