The novel, a depiction of social and political events in the capital during the run-up to a national election, contains a grim cast of characters: corrupt politicians, impotent intellectuals, unprincipled journalists, manipulative Leftists, and impetuous Muslims to name but a few. Although the novel represents a condemnation of political practices prevalent in Indonesia in the 1950s, readers today will find much in this novel that still resonates. It is re-published in English by Darf Publishers at a time when, after three decades of authoritarianism and more than a decade of transition, Indonesia once again has a boisterous multi-party system of competing and collaborating political parties; as well as a mass media which often both serves particular political interests and thrives on sensationalist stories of corruption and malfeasance.
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