• A Brief History of Indonesia

  • Sultans, Spices, and Tsunamis: The Incredible Story of Southeast Asia's Largest Nation
  • By: Tim Hannigan
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (101 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Indonesia is by far the largest nation in Southeast Asia and has the fourth-largest population in the world after the United States. Indonesian history and culture are especially relevant today as the island nation is an emerging power in the region with a dynamic new leader. It is a land of incredible diversity and unending paradoxes that has a long and rich history stretching back a thousand years and more. 

Indonesia is the fabled "Spice Islands" of every school child's dreams - one of the most colorful and fascinating countries in history. These are the islands that Europeans set out on countless voyages of discovery to find and later fought bitterly over in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. This was the land that Christopher Columbus sought, and Magellan actually reached and explored. One tiny Indonesian island was even exchanged for the island of Manhattan in 1667! 

This fascinating history book tells the story of Indonesia as a narrative of kings, traders, missionaries, soldiers, and revolutionaries, featuring stormy sea crossings, fiery volcanoes, and the occasional tiger.

©2015 Tim Hannigan (P)2019 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about A Brief History of Indonesia

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    67
  • 4 Stars
    28
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    61
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

More Indonesian history please Audible

History books on Indonesian history are pretty much non-existant on Audible so I was pleasantly surprised to see this title become available. It's not a bad general overview and works well as a introduction to Indonesian history for non-scholars. The narration is fine as well. Hopefully we'll be seeing more Indonesian (and south-east Asian) history on Audible in the future.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent summary

Impressive attempt to cover the complex history of an archipelago of thousands of islands. I did read this book while living in Indonesia but it takes on more significance now a decade later I’m able to digest my years there with Better understanding/ relevance. Hannagin lays out the important bits of 2000 years of historical events and characters. And unlike writers like Simon Winchester, he dose not over romanticize the 16-17 centuries with pirates, spice wars and gore. Hannagin could have reduced the Majapahit chapters to expand the modern era cultural landscape. He definitely glosses over so many massacres; genocides; ethnic cleansing; and tumultuous power plays that the reader can’t possibly fathom current attitudes throughout this huge artificial nation. This is still the best broad summary I’ve ever studied. At 8 hours length it feels about right for the subject matter.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A much-needed, accessible history of Indonesia

Indonesia is the fourth-largest country in the world by population and has a fascinating history. Its importance will continue to grow on the world stage. But it's hard to find an accessible, non-academic history of the country. This book addresses this problem with a very listenable narrative that does not require a background in Southeast Asian history. If you are interested in Indonesian history from prehistory to the present, this book is a great place to start. The writing and narration are smooth and do not demand concentration from the listener. The book generally sticks to facts and avoids interpretation. You won't find much here on topics like the injustices of colonialism or speculation about foreign involvement in the 1965 coup. But the book does provide a solid grounding in Indonesian history that will be useful as you explore other sources on the country.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

perfect gift for local and foreigners

First of further reading/listenings.
Next time with discussion results with friends and acquaintances I am now reaching to get to know this history fact piece.
Much thanks to the author Tim and also to the one Derek who read it, in so wonderful way. thanks to all and to Indonesia.
One last word for the people that have been described as being killed in the reported events. they are now not forgotten.
Hopefully they can keep be inspiration for the improvements of the country and for people's there life condition. In the same place we are now talking about.
Indonesia. Semangaat
Kind regards, here, from a Portuguese.
Also called Arjuna.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Deeply Informative

This is a great book for folks who don't know much about asian history

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastically researched, written and narrarated.

Will serve as an outstanding foundation for my arrival to Indonesia. Brilliantly told with a clever insight and wit.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very informative

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested to know enough background information about Indonesia.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for gi
  • gi
  • 06-06-20

This book is wonderful

I don’t get how a listener was surprised that this is a ‘history’ book. It is clearly written so.

I’m an Indonesian and I think this book is marvelous.
Mr. Hannigan told the story from the kingdoms and dynasties existed. When Ibn Battuta arrived in Sumatra. How the spice trade happened to the Dutch arrivals and then the Japanese.
How Indonesia progress from one president to another and to this day under the leadership of JokoWi.
It’s compact, thorough, and yet quite entertaining.

And Mr. Perkins narration is great too. His pronunciation of the weird words and names are spot on.

I think these two should collaborate again for Mr. Hannigan’s other books.

Totally recommend this book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for W. M.
  • W. M.
  • 12-05-19

Dry

detailed but I'm trying to stay awake listening to it. It's a history book so... somewhat expected.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Thirsty hippo
  • Thirsty hippo
  • 02-26-20

Decent introduction to Indonesian history

Good narration of a wide introduction to Indonesian history. One criticism it seemed to gloss over Japanese occupation and the millions of Indonesians who lost their lives during it. Other than that a good listen.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-21-19

My favourite history book ever

I have always been fascinated by Indonesia and its rich history. seeing a book on the history of such a diverse
and wonderful country is perfect for me. The narrator was very easy to listen to, made the book all the better. 100% read this if your interested in Indonesia at all.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cristian
  • Cristian
  • 03-17-21

Boring just like History in School

Too much focus on individuals and describes events in an isolated manner. Its very hard to follow and link together what he is talking about. I would have preferred if he glossed over characters and focused more on giving context of the overall scenario. If you want fact after fact in chronological order, this is the book for you! I'm halfway through the book and can barely even recall anything. Don't know why people rate it so high...

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-15-22

Good history, shame about the pronunciations

A great introduction to the history of Indonesia, if a bit Java-centric, but the pronunciations of the Indonesians names are wrong and quite jarring for anyone familiar with them or the language.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 10-15-20

Excellent introduction to Indonesian history

Engagingly told. If you are after a background in Indonesian history, this is a very good place to start.

.