Intellectuals

Living in Protest

The political scientist Professor Herb Feith of Monash University was Australia’s first Indonesian expert. People found him a likable person, gregarious and egalitarian. After his death in an accident in 2001 his colleagues set up a foundation in his honour. One of its first projects was to commission a biography, which has recently appeared: Jemma Purdey’s From Vienna to Yogyakarta: The Life of Herb Feith. My antennae were alerted when a reviewer wrote that it showed Feith was an opponent of President Soekarno. I had heard Feith speak at the University of Melbourne about 1963, a time when Soekarno was…

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