The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World

by Vincent Bevins

Paperback, 2021


"In the 20th century, the U.S. government's effort to contain communism resulted in several disastrous conflicts: Vietnam, Cuba, Korea. Violence in Indonesia, and then interconnected slaughters across Latin America, arguably had a bigger hand in shaping today's world, but have been widely overlooked for one important reason: the secret CIA interventions were successful. In 1965, nearly one million unarmed civilians were killed in Indonesia with active U.S. assistance. This was the end of a decade-long attempt to stop the rise of the largest communist party outside the USSR and China. The resulting dictatorship buried the truth until this day, but the massacre shook the world. Left-wing movements radicalized, afraid of suffering the same fate as the unarmed Indonesians, and the world's committed anticommunists - especially in Brazil and Chile - learned from the mass murder, creating terror campaigns named after the Indonesian capital. In this bold and comprehensive new history, building on his reporting for the Washington Post in Southeast Asia, Vincent Bevins uses recently declassified documents, archival research, and countless of hours of interviews to reconstruct this chapter in world history and reveal a hidden legacy that spans the globe. For decades, it's been portrayed that much of the developing world passed naturally, and peacefully, into the US-led capitalist world system. But those who suffered through this process have long known differently"--… (more)



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PublicAffairs (2021), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages

Media reviews

The so-called Long Peace after 1945 was covered in the blood of innocent people. Americans generally prefer to remember the Cold War as a mostly peaceful triumph punctuated by a handful of debacles, but for many of the people living in non-aligned and newly independent countries after WWII their
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experience of the Cold War was one of horror and devastation. Those nations that had the misfortune of being deemed important in the struggle against communism tended to suffer the most. Fanatical anticommunism claimed millions of victims during the Cold War. The atrocities committed against these people are often forgotten in the West, if they were ever known in the first place. That is true most of all in the United States, since it was our government that frequently encouraged and assisted local actors in their crimes against their own people.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member rivkat
America’s foreign policy supported dictators and mass repression, but what did that really mean? Bevins recounts how it worked in Indonesia, including funding military coups, supplying right-wing rebels with weapons, and cutting off trade and aid to governments deemed insufficiently
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anticommunist. And he traces how the Indonesian model of mass executions of Communists, or those considered Communist (one telling quote from an American involved in these programs explains that people could be Communist without believing that they were), spread through Asia, Latin America, and South America, mutating from political extermination to ethnic genocide in some cases. The spread was encouraged by right-wing groups within the affected countries as well as by American funders; it was deliberate; and its effects are far from over.
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LibraryThing member Kavinay
1. Profalactic coups
2. Mass murder and dissapearence of anyone who could be labeled communist.
3. American hegemony.

Just a heartbreaking book.


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1541724003 / 9781541724006
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