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Soekarno was born a hundred years ago, on 6 June 1901. More than anyone else, he came to embody the Indonesian struggle for independence. He proclaimed Indonesian independence on 17 August 1945 and led his country as its first president until after a coup that misfired in 1965, when he was gradually stripped of his power by his successor, the army general Soeharto. Soekarno aroused intense emotions and provoked strong controversy all through his life, but indisputably put an indelible stamp on political developments in the great island nation from the late nineteen-twenties till the seventies. This biography describes his life from his formative years, crowned with a degree in architecture, through the ups and downs of his political career, to his cooperation with the Japanese conqueror of Indonesia. His opposition to Dutch colonial rule earned him the support of the urban masses, but also reprisal from the Dutch, who sent him to jail and into exile for more than ten years. The Japanese occupation in 1942 gave him opportunities to further his cause - eventually resulting in the Proclamation of Independence.
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