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Rifle Reports: A Story of Indonesian Independence by Mary Margaret Steedly (review)

Rifle Reports: A Story of Indonesian Independence by Mary Margaret Steedly (review) Mary Margaret Steedly. Rifle Reports: A Story of Indonesian Independence. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2013. 414 pp. Audrey Kahin In this fascinating picture of life in the Karo Batak area of North Sumatra during the first three years of the Indonesian Revolution, Mary Steedly moves away from the conventional narrative histories of the period, which have generally reflected the perspective of male revolutionaries and leaders, to a more deeply textured portrayal of the experiences of ordinary people during the independence struggle. While she dedicates her book to the "eager girls and daring boys of Karoland's 1945 generation, who imagined independence in myriad ways ..." (v), it is the women's wartime experiences that she places at the heart of her story. Steedly has a deep knowledge of the society of this area of Sumatra based on her years of anthropological research there in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which found its first expression in her pathbreaking Hanging without a Rope.1 In Rifle Reports, she aims to give an ethnographic history of the early years of independence, drawing in particular on the interviews she conducted during the late stages of the Suharto period with elderly Toba Batak http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Indonesia Southeast Asia Program [Cornell University]

Rifle Reports: A Story of Indonesian Independence by Mary Margaret Steedly (review)

Indonesia , Volume 99 (1) – May 29, 2015

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Publisher
Southeast Asia Program [Cornell University]
Copyright
Copyright @ Cornell Southeast Asia Program
ISSN
2164-8654
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mary Margaret Steedly. Rifle Reports: A Story of Indonesian Independence. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2013. 414 pp. Audrey Kahin In this fascinating picture of life in the Karo Batak area of North Sumatra during the first three years of the Indonesian Revolution, Mary Steedly moves away from the conventional narrative histories of the period, which have generally reflected the perspective of male revolutionaries and leaders, to a more deeply textured portrayal of the experiences of ordinary people during the independence struggle. While she dedicates her book to the "eager girls and daring boys of Karoland's 1945 generation, who imagined independence in myriad ways ..." (v), it is the women's wartime experiences that she places at the heart of her story. Steedly has a deep knowledge of the society of this area of Sumatra based on her years of anthropological research there in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which found its first expression in her pathbreaking Hanging without a Rope.1 In Rifle Reports, she aims to give an ethnographic history of the early years of independence, drawing in particular on the interviews she conducted during the late stages of the Suharto period with elderly Toba Batak

Journal

IndonesiaSoutheast Asia Program [Cornell University]

Published: May 29, 2015

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