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John Monfries

John Monfries is the author of  A Prince in a Republic: The Life of Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX of Yogyakarta (2014).

John Monfries reviews 'Suharto: A Political Biography' by R.E. Elson

March 2002, no. 239 01 March 2002
Repressive despot, or enlightened reformer? What are we to make of Suharto, four years after his fall? Was his prolonged rule an inevitable outcome of the Indonesian political process and of the mistakes and chaos of the Sukarno years? Or was it an illegitimate and corrupt militaristic venture, which has now been replaced by a genuine democratic political system, whatever its flaws and bloody diss ... (read more)

John Monfries reviews 'The Hot Seat: Reflections on diplomacy from Stalin’s death to the Bali bombings' by Richard Woolcott

April 2003, no. 250 18 October 2022
One of the puzzles of Australia’s diplomatic service is the comparative lack of informative memoirs by senior diplomats. Of the sixteen heads of Foreign Affairs mentioned in this book, only three apart from Richard Woolcott – Alan Watt, Alan Renouf, and Peter Henderson – have written memoirs (although John Burton wrote much about international conflict management, and Stuart Harris – more ... (read more)

John Monfries reviews three books on Indonesian politics

December 2002-January 2003, no. 247 01 December 2002
Have the Bali Bombings completely changed our view of Indonesia? Although obviously not designed to do so, these three books provide necessary background on how such an atrocity might be possible in the near-anarchic circumstances of that country. They also give a wide-ranging and informative picture of the present state of Indonesia in all its chaos and uncertainty. They make sobering reading, as ... (read more)