The lion and the gadfly: Dutch colonialism and the spirit of E.F.E. Douwes Dekker

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Artikelnummer: 9789067182423 Categorieën: ,

This political biography reveals the turbulent life of Ernest Franois Eugne Douwes Dekker, son of a Dutch father and a German-Javanese mother, born on Java in 1879. Vignettes flow in novel-like fashion from the battle fields of South Africa and internment camp in Sri Lanka to a career in journalism in Java. Radical thoughts then enter Douwes Dekker’s mind, such as demands for racial equality and national independence. These made him write presciently that this road might take him to the executioner’s hand or to the victory of revolution. In exile from 1913 on, his bravado allowed him to enter a doctoral program at the University of Zurich but also to entanglement with Indian revolutionaries operating from Berlin. Returning to Java at the end of World War I, he once again propagated the virtues of nationalism, but soon was forced to relinquish his efforts and start a teaching career. Even here constant surveillance and eventual internment in Surinam were his lot. Within a decade, the Republic of Indonesia had been proclaimed and Douwes Dekker emerged to acclaim as a close friend and political adviser to President Soekarno. Paul W. van der Veur has published extensively on Indonesia and New Guinea. He is a Professor Emeritus of Ohio University and lives in Sebring, Ohio, USA.

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