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  • The Jakarta Method

  • Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program That Shaped Our World
  • By: Vincent Bevins
  • Narrated by: Tim Paige
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)

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The Jakarta Method

By: Vincent Bevins
Narrated by: Tim Paige
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Publisher's Summary

Named One of the Best Books of 2020 by NPR, The Financial Times, and GQ

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

In 1965, the US government helped the Indonesian military kill approximately one million innocent civilians. This was one of the most important turning points of the 20th 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 12 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 US-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.

©2020 Vincent Bevins (P)2020 Hachette Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"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, Poisoner in Chief)

"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)

"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)

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Robotic reading

Tim Paige has to be one of the worst narrators I’ve experienced. Robotic and almost as though he is reading it for the first time. The story is interesting but for goodness sake save yourself and read it for yourself.

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Important book on legacy of US Cold War tactics

Depressing but important read on the legacy for the Global South and world of the brutal tactics adopted by the US in the Cold Way. The degree of their obsession with communism is extraordinary but still visible today.

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Very well done overview of a history often not talked about

Excellent job by the author and narrator. It feels as though this book could have been much longer but I appreciate all the info within. These stories need to be told as the governments try and hide their participation in these horrible events.

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History was interesting, narrating dull

Strong, interesting expose on the CIA’s machinations. Couldn’t continue listening due to the narrators vocal performance. Turned me off ultimately.

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required listening

An amazing insight into what the US wrought during the Cold War and beyond

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The definite horror story of the cold war

It wasn't until I found myself living in Indonesia that I started learning about the horrors of '65. But not from the local population, those that survived are too traumatised to talk, and the relatives of those who didn't are still too scared. But the story that gave the book its name is just one of a complex narrative of similar atrocities committed in the name of freedom by a paranoid US, manipulated by vested interests, while everyone else looked the other way. Read it and weep, much of what happened during the cold war was every bit as horrific as the horrors of Holocaust.

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Lots of mispronounced Indonesian words

The consistent mispronunciation of Indonesian words and names was quite distracting.

More care should have been taken to get this right, especially given the gravity of the book’s content.

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The semifictional aproach didnt wok.

The personalisation of the story by very poorly constructed characters was boring and made for terrible fiction It was like something out of a yellowback romance. I wasnt ablut to wait to find out if it was just as afull a treaatment as history.

I saw some complaints about he Narration but the guy didnt have much to work with. I thought he did OK.

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absolutely amazing. a must read!

this book is fantastic and should be in every school in the world. the facts listed here are of importance to almost every human being in this planet.

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indict US leadership for war crimes in last 70 y

Very good mix of personal stories combined with the global and national narrative. Chomsky covered this stuff well before, but Bevins ties it together in such a well woven structure that interelates the way US foreign policy unfurls its tendency towards all the most despicable evil he explicates with great accuracy and nuance.

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