John Coast (edited by Laura Noszlopy)
This gripping memoir narrates the formative years of the Indonesian nation through the lens of English adventurer John Coast. After years in Japanese POW camps where he first met Indonesians and learned Malay, this young British officer made his way back to Southeast Asia in order to help Indonesian Republicans in their struggle against Dutch rule. In time he became a trusted friend and employee of the new nation.
John Coast’s life story is entangled with the history of the revolution: blockade-running; broadcasting from the besieged rebel capital; advocating for the Republicans to the press and politicians abroad; and having long discussions with president-to-be Sukarno. Later, John Coast and Sukarno’s shared love of Balinese music and dance bore fruit in the famous Dancers of Bali tour of the West End and Broadway, which in turn paved the way for Coast’s career as a leading international theatrical agent for the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar and Mario Lanza.