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Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961–1965
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    Rakove, Robert B. 2014. A Companion to John F. Kennedy.

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    Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961–1965
    • Online ISBN: 9780511497346
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Book description

In the early 1960s, Britain and the United States were still trying to come to terms with the powerful forces of indigenous nationalism unleashed by the Second World War. The Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation - a crisis which was, as Macmillan remarked to Kennedy, 'as dangerous a situation in Southeast Asia as we have seen since the war' - was a complex test of Anglo-American relations. As American commitment to Vietnam accelerated under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Britain was involving herself in an 'end-of-empire' exercise in state-building which had important military and political implications for both nations. In this book Matthew Jones provides a detailed insight into the origins, outbreak and development of this important episode in international history; using a large range of previously unavailable archival sources, he illuminates the formation of the Malaysian federation, Indonesia's violent opposition to the state and the Western Powers' attempts to deal with the resulting conflict.


Review of the hardback:‘… this book is a highly commendable and competent piece of original research. It is an important record of the contemporary events which have shaped modern Southeast Asia, throwing light on a period of flux and conflict that the present can relate to given recent events in Indonesia.’

Source: International Affairs

Review of the hardback:‘Seldom, I believe, can a reviewer by accident have the opportunity to confirm that the quotations and other details are accurate, and that the analysis is sound. Readers will find a fresh and revealing account of the conflict between Malaysia and Singapore as well as the uneasy relations between the leaders of the two countries, the Tunku Abdul Rahman and Lee Kuan Yew. … As a study in international history, Conflict and Confrontation is worthy of Thorne’s own Allies of a Kind.’

Source: The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History

Review of the hardback:‘… it is hard to see any treatment of British and American strategies surpassing this excellent study.’

Source: Diplomacy and Statecraft

Review of the hardback:‘Jones has written a readable, well-researched piece of work, with an intelligent and convincing line of analysis and a good eye for detail.’

Source: The International History Review

Review of the hardback:'This is a massive and important work of scholarship.'

Source: Near Eastern Studies

Review of the hardback:‘… makes exemplary and lucid use of a large range of primary sources, among them British government records opened during the 1990s … even transcripts of telephone conversations.’

Source: English Historical Review

Review of the hardback:‘Meticulously researched, clearly written and cogently argued, this book is a major contribution to the international history of maritime Southeast Asia.

Source: Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde

Review of the hardback:'Jones's book is essential reading for those who wish to understand the realities behind the rhetoric that masked the motives and actions of the politicians in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, London, and Washington as they maneuvered to shape island Southeast Asia into a form that accorded with their individual priorities. Scattered too within his account are flashes of clarifying honesty and insight by the actors themselves into the actual situation that are usually concealed by policy needs and ideological imperatives. … Jones's meticulous analysis of so many of the relevant documents provides a firm bas from which to view the Southeast Asia that emerged from this period of turbulence into a form that basically endured for the rest of the twentieth century.'

Source: Indonesia

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Simon J.Ball, , ‘Selkirk in Singapore’, Twentieth Century British History, 10, 2, 1999

Ian F. W.Beckett, , ‘Robert Thompson and the British Advisory Mission to South Vietnam, 1961–1965’, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 8, 3, 1997

H. W.Brands, , ‘The Limits of Manipulation: How the United States Didn't Topple Sukarno’, Journal of American History, 76, 3, 1989

JohnDumbrell, , ‘The Johnson Administration and the British Labour Government: Vietnam, the Pound and East of Suez’, Journal of American Studies, 30, 2, 1996

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GarethJones, , ‘Sukarno's Early Views on the Territorial Boundaries of Indonesia’, Australian Outlook, 18, 1964

MatthewJones, , “Maximum Disavowable Aid”: Britain, the United States and the Indonesian Rebellion, 1957–58', English Historical Review, 114, 459, 1999

George McT.Kahin, , ‘Malaysia and Indonesia’, Pacific Affairs, 37, 3, 1964

Wm. RogerLouis, , and RonaldRobinson, , ‘The Imperialism of Decolonization’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 22, 3, 1994

Mohamed Noordin Sopiee, ‘The Advocacy of Malaysia before 1961’, Modern Asian Studies, 7, 4, 1973

Peter DaleScott, , ‘The US and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965–1967’, Pacific Affairs, 58, 2, 1985

A. J.Stockwell, , ‘Colonial Planning during World War Two: the Case of Malaya’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 2, 3, 1974

Robert O.Tilman, , ‘Elections in Sarawak’, Asian Survey, 3, 10, 1963

GeoffreyWarner, , ‘The United States and Vietnam: from Kennedy to Johnson’, International Affairs, 73, 2, 1997