George McTurnan Kahin Note 1 ( – ) Is a historian and political scientist US . It is one of the experts that refers to the Southeast Asia and an opponent of the US intervention in the Vietnam War 1 . After supporting his doctoral thesis, still considered a classic in Indonesia ‘s history , Kahin taught at Cornell University , where he directed the Southeast Asia Program and where he founded Cornell Modern. Indonesia Project . His incomplete memoirs were published posthumously in 2003.


George McTurnan Kahin was born on January 25, 1918 in Baltimore , Maryland, and grew up in Seattle , Washington . He obtains his BSc in history at Harvard in 1940 2 .

Kahin married Margaret Baker in 1942, but eventually divorced 1 . During the Second World War , from 1942 to 1945, he served in the US Army , where he received training in a group of sixty GIs to be parachuted into Indonesia under Japanese occupation as the vanguard of the Allied forces . The operation will be canceled after it was decided after the Potsdam conference that US forces would not pass through the archipelago. His unit will be sent to the European theater. Kahin leaves the army with the rank of Sergeant 2 . It was during this period that he began to take an interest inSoutheast Asia and learns Indonesian and Dutch 1 .

After the war, Kahin resumed his studies and obtained his MA at Stanford in 1946. His dissertation, The Political Position of the Chinese in Indonesia ( Kahin 1946 ), 3describes the role of the Chinese of Indonesia in the young republic. He continued his interest in Southeast Asia and went to Indonesia in 1948 to do research during the Indonesian National Revolution . He is arrested by the Dutch administration and expelled from the country. Kahin earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at Johns Hopkins University in 1951. His dissertation, entitledNationalism and Revolution in Indonesia ( Kahin 1952 ), is considered a classic in history of Indonesia 2 , 4 .

University career

In 1951, Kahin was appointed Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University . He became a full professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1954, and obtained a Chair in 1959. Kahin founded the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project in 1954, of which he remained director until his retirement in 1988. He was appointed Director of the Southeast Asia Program from the university in 1961, and held the position until 1970. In 1962 and 1963, as part of the Fulbright program , he was a professor at the University of London . Kahin was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences2

We voted for the maintaining of academic freedom , without believing That That essential quality there can be no relationship of any kind entre blacksand a university, Because That without quality you do not-have a university.

-George McTurnan Kahin, April 25, 1969 5


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Opposition to the Vietnam War

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The controversy over the Khmer Rouge

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Relations with Indonesia

After his expulsion from Indonesia in 1949, Kahin helped young Indonesian diplomats Sumitro Djojohadikusumo , Soedarpo Sastrosatomo and Soedjatmoko while serving in the United Nations or Washington . He is also close friends with Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta , the first president and vice president of independent Indonesia. In his book Subversion as Foreign Policy ( Kahin and Kahin 1995 ), he strives to prove the innocence of former Prime Minister Mohammad Natsir , with whom he also befriended, accused of participation in the rebellion of Darul Islam 3. The book also describes the “destructive relationship” between the United States and Indonesia under Soekarno 4 .

Kahin helped develop Indonesian studies in the United States at a time when much of the material on Indonesia was at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands . In Cornell, he creates a mid-career training program for diplomats around the world. He also helps many Indonesian intellectuals to take courses at the university in the United States. Many of his students and associates, including the Australian Herbert Feith , create similar programs in universities where they teach 3 .

At one time, the US government blocked Kahin’s passport. For its part, the regime Soeharto Indonesia refused him a visa 4 . In 1991, Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas awarded him the Bintang Jasa Pratama ( French : Merit Medal, First Class) for his work as a “pioneer and forerunner of Indonesian studies in the United States” 2 .

Notes and references


  1. ↑ sometimes cited as George Kahin or George McT. Kahin or George M. Kahin


  1. ↑ a , b and c en ) Eric Pace , ” George McT. Kahin, 82, Dies ”  [ archive ] , The New York Times , (accessed June 24, 2009 )
  2. ↑ a , b , c , d and e in ) Franklin Crawford , ” expert in Southeast Asian studies, George McTurnan Kahin, dies at 82 ” [ archive] , Cornell Chronicle , (accessed June 24, 2009 )
  3. ↑ a , b and c id ) Burhan Magenda , ” ” In Memoriam “: Prof George McTurnan Kahin ” [ archive] , Kompas , (accessed June 24, 2009 )
  4. ↑ a , b and c en ) Daniel S. Lev , ” George McT Kahin (1918-2000) ” [ archive of] , Inside Indonesia , (accessed June 24, 2009 )
  5. ↑ Donald Alexander Downs , Cornell ’69: Liberalism and the Crisis of the American University , Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press , ( ISBN  0-8014-3653-2 ) , p.  274