East Timor: Island in Turmoil (World in Conflict)

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9780822535553: East Timor: Island in Turmoil (World in Conflict)

Examines the history of the ethnic conflict in East Timor and its continuing effect on the people.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 9 Up-McGuinn sets out to describe the historical roots and present situation in East Timor. An introduction lays out the problem in general and describes the geography, economic activity, diverse population of 15 different ethnolinguistic groups, the nature of the conflict since the Portuguese withdrew from active governance and Indonesian soldiers invaded in 1975, and the political groups and major players. The first chapter describes the recent conflict and its effect, but it is not until the second chapter, almost halfway through the book, that the author provides readers with the historical background necessary to understand the issues. Later chapters chronicle events from 1975 to the present in more detail and the efforts to reduce the turmoil and curb the violence. An epilogue brings the chronology up to January 1998 and offers a Web address for current information. The book is illustrated with black-and-white and full-color photographs, but not all sources are cited. Two maps locate the territory. The information represents both the Timorese and Indonesian points of view, but the organization is so convoluted and the prose so dense that it is hard to imagine young people getting through it. There is no narrative or dramatic quality to the recounting of these events and the detail would be daunting to anyone without some previous background in this or similar political histories.
Kathleen Isaacs, Edmund Burke School, Washington, DC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Gr. 7^-10. Part of the World in Conflict series, McGuinn's book presents a comprehensive account of the long-term, unresolved ethnic and political conflict in East Timor, an island east of Indonesia. Although the series has previously examined conflicts in places more familiar to young readers and researchers (Bosnia, Northern Ireland), East Timor's situation does exemplify how political and ethnic conflicts can develop over time, and the difficulties of resolving them. The book takes care to present opposing viewpoints; however, the dense, formal-academic text is tenuous and often difficult to follow, and it jumps back and forth in time and repeats information, which can be confusing. Still, it is useful for explaining concepts of governing and political strife and its effect on a country's people; additionally, it provides a well-rounded, general introduction to the country of East Timor for reference and research. A short glossary, a chronology, a bibliography, and a Web-site address are included. Shelle Rosenfeld

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