Written by a 24-year-old Indonesian medical student turned military commander named Suhario Padmodiwiryo, alias “Hario Kecik”, Revolution in the City of Heroes is an evocative first-hand account of the popular uprising in Surabaya. The book vividly portrays the chaotic swirl of events and the heady emotion of young people ready to sacrifice their lives for a great cause.
Newly liberated from nearly four brutal years under Japanese control, the people of Indonesia faced great uncertainty in October 1945. As the British Army attempted to take control of the city of Surabaya, maintain order and deal with surrendered Japanese personnel, their actions were interpreted by the young residents of Surabaya as a plan to restore Dutch colonial rule. In response, the youth of the city took up arms and repelled the force sent to occupy the city. They then held off British reinforcements for two weeks, battling tanks and heavy artillery with nothing more than light weapons and sheer audacity. Though eventually defeated, Surabaya’s defenders had set the stage for Indonesia’s national revolution.
“Indonesia is tagged in the media as Islamic — as though this is the one and only driver of the Republic. Nationalism is more powerful. This book reveals why.”
Duncan Graham, New Mandala
“As a first-hand account of a period of high drama, Revolution in the City of Heroes is a genuinely gripping read. The prose is crisp and vivid… and there are many striking moments.”
Tim Hannigan, Asian Review of Books
“…invaluable to our understanding of the early days of the Indonesian republic…lively prose and distinctive style of translation make the book an enjoyable read.”
Johannes Nugroho, The Jakarta Globe