Tom Atkinson

Chris Moorhouse

ISBN: 9781910745885

Binding: paperback

Not yet published

Expected publication, March 2020

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About this book:

‘I realised that the struggle in Indonesia was very important as it concerned the destiny of over 70 million people. I knew that if the struggle for Independence failed, the western world would be equally to blame.’ Tom Atkinson 

Merdeka (Indonesian; Malaysian): ‘independent’ or ‘free’. ‘Merdeka’ became Indonesia’s national battle-cry and salute during its fight for independence from the Dutch Empire in the 1940s.  

Indonesia: a state formed of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia was under Dutch control for nearly 200 years until it declared independence in 1945 under President Sukarno.  

This is the previously untold story of Tom Atkinson – soldier, political speech writer, farmer, hotelier and publisher. At the core of Indonesia’s fight for independence in the 1940s, Tom contributed to the release of Indonesia from centuries of colonial oppression. After being stationed in Indonesia during WWII in the RAF, he founded the Indonesian Information bulletin and was later President Sukarno’s speech writer for over a decade.  

Both a political commentary and a love story, Merdeka casts a new light on the formation of a nation, following Tom through the Second World War to his time in post-war Indonesia, then his return to the UK.