Nusantara: A History of the East Indian Archipelago

Nusantara: A History of the East Indian Archipelago

Nusantara: A History of the East Indian Archipelago

Nusantara: A History of the East Indian Archipelago

Excerpt

The first edition of this book was published in 1943. I started writing during the year 1941, not many months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. At that time, I was residing in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the attention of the American public was turning more and more towards Southeast Asia, an area which, rather suddenly, was found to be of great strategic and economic importance to the defence of the United States. But even before the work was completed, the whole of Southeast Asia had been occupied by the Japanese. As a result of the occupation of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Indies, I had to rely upon Harvard's immense collection of books and periodicals for my source material. Fortunately this collection proved to contain nearly all the books and periodicals I needed. I am still grateful to Harvard University and, more particularly, to the Director and Staff of Widener Library, for the facilities they granted to me so liberally.

In preparing this new and wholly revised edition of Nusantara, I have made use of the books and articles written in the years between 1945 and 1958. The text has been revised and corrected according to the latest results of historical research. Far more important, however, was the help I was privileged to receive from my colleague at Leyden University, Professor C. C. Berg, who put his profound knowledge of Indonesian languages and Indonesian culture at my disposal. Professor Berg kindly consented to read my manuscript and to discuss the text with me. I cannot be grateful enough for his assistance which cost him many hours of his valuable time. This help enabled me to rewrite the first four chapters of my book. These chapters are practically new and they now, I hope, faithfully reflect the latest research in the extremely difficult field of ancient Javanese literature and culture. On some points, the specialists in the field . . .

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