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"If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die":
How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor
Geoffrey Robinson

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"Powerful. . . . If You Leave Us Here We Will Die: How Genocide Was Stopped in East Timor is the best account yet of 'a bad year in East Timor'--at least 1500 civilians murdered, 400,000 forced from their homes, 70 per cent of the infrastructure destroyed, the country looted. . . . [Robinson] puts the violence in context, while his witness accounts give the book narrative power."--Tom Hyland, Sydney Morning Herald

"Meticulously researched and powerful."--Joshua Kurlantzick, Washington Monthly

"There is valuable and thought-provoking material in this book."--Peter Rodgers, The Australian

"A compelling body of documentary and first-person evidence that Indonesian military and civilian leaders orchestrated the shocking violence that marred East Timor's birth as a nation. . . . To be sure, it a sad story, but also one in which international intervention ultimately prevented a much greater disaster. . . . Compelling."--Angilee Shah, Zocalo

"[A] thoroughly researched, carefully analyzed, and compellingly argued work. . . . Robinson's meticulously crafted book is an important one for experts on Southeast Asia, international affairs, violence, transitional justice, and human rights alike to consider and debate. Its clear writing, historical depth, and strong, yet nuanced analysis also make it highly appropriate for both upper-level undergraduates and graduate students."--Joseph Nevins, Pacific Affairs

"[Robinson's] UN role and his history as a scholar and an expert on human rights issues gave him a unique insight into, and knowledge of, events. The result is an account that combines narrative power with detailed assessment to produce an outstanding description and analysis. In examining the events of 1999, the author's use of documents is rigorous and thorough, combining highly effectively with his first-hand reporting."--John Taylor, Asian Affairs

"Robinson makes a compelling case that genocides are not beyond human control, which is itself an exceptionally important claim. This book is both an outstanding assessment of East Timor's road to independence and a highly perceptive, if discouraging, reflection on the challenge of humanitarian intervention and genocide prevention."--Roland Burke, Human Rights Quarterly

"Robinson's analysis and insight into the period surrounding the independence ballot makes for authoritative and gripping reading."--Helene van Klinken, Inside Indonesia

"Robinson, the leading historian of contemporary East Timor, has authored a broad range of scholarly and analytical work on Asia's latest decolonization. He also served as UN political officer in East Timor for six pivotal months in 1999. This allows him to weave together his years of scholarship on East Timor and Indonesia with his own inside experiences, backed by extensive research on the ground. The result is a hybrid memoir and academic book, providing both a powerful personal eyewitness account and incisive scholarship."--David Webster, Canadian Journal of History

"[The book] does an excellent job in laying out the complexity of the issues at hand, and in providing practical policy recommendations to overcome some of the difficulties involved. . . . The book is a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate about NATO."--James Cotton, Australian Journal of International Affairs

"Robinson's book provides what will surely become one of the definitive sources for genocide scholars seeking to understand the story of East Timor, the causes of the mass violence there and also how it was stopped. One can hardly imagine a person better qualified to tell this story. . . . Thoroughly researched and meticulously documented, Robinson's book is historically rich, politically astute and theoretically nuanced, while never losing its moral clarity. Robinson ably combines history, theory and personal memoir; he writes with conviction and pulls no punches."--Morton Winston, Journal of Genocide Research

"[T]he systematic use of terror by Indonesia in East Timor is one of the leitmotivs of this book, and it is around this question that Robinson has made a major contribution to our understanding. Technically this is a well-paced work drawing the reader into the events through historical recall. . . . This book is simply the definitive work on structural violence in East Timor, especially as it relates to the events of 1999, and should be compulsory reading for some of the actors concerned."--Geoffrey C. Gunn, Peace Review

"A must-read for anyone interested in Timor-Leste's history."--Foreign Policy

"Robinson's position as both a historian and a witness . . . gives him the advantage of presenting a fuller view, including his perspective on the ground and the real human interactions of kindness, fear, courage, and resolve among the UN staff and locals, in addition to a scholarly historical account. This fuller perspective is particularly valuable to the legal world. . . . This personal, human aspect is perhaps one the most notable contributions of Robinson's book to the historical documentation of the story of East Timor in Western texts."--Relic Sun, Journal of International Law and Politics

"[T]his book is a rich and unique contribution to the study of East Timor, and political violence more generally. . . . Robinson provides insight not only into the challenges that international interventions encounter on the ground but also the importance of persevering in spite of the challenges."--Jessica N. Trisko, Yale Journal of International Affairs

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"Those of us with a special interest in the final frenzy of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor will be deeply grateful to Geoffrey Robinson for the narrative power and depth of insight that makes his book the outstanding treatment of these events. But the value of his book goes far beyond that: as a historian who has thought deeply about political violence, as a human rights practitioner familiar with the ways of states and institutions that perpetrate and condone massive human rights abuses, and as a reflective participant in the UN mission that oversaw the referendum on East Timor's independence, Robinson is uniquely qualified to bring out the wider meanings of what happened in East Timor in 1999, and triumphantly succeeds in doing so."--Anthony Goldstone, coeditor of Chega!: Final Report of the East Timor Commission for Reception, Truth, and Reconciliation

"This is the single most important book about the complex and dramatic events of 1999 in East Timor. Combining a scholarly analysis of violence with first-person reporting, it provides a profound and nuanced understanding of recent East Timorese history."--John Roosa, University of British Columbia

"In this outstanding book, Robinson provides an authoritative and gripping account of the violence visited upon East Timor by the Indonesian Armed Forces that is unparalleled in documentation, sophistication, and insight. His appraisal of the conditions enabling the belated United Nations intervention in East Timor is likewise unrivalled in its combination of scholarly analysis and insider insights."--John Sidel, London School of Economics and Political Science

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File created: 9/23/2014

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