Rubbing Shoulders With Two Presidents

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Tom Graciano
Updated August 22, 2022
Rubbing Shoulders With Two Presidents (cover)
Rubbing Shoulders With Two Presidents


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May 14, 2013
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Rubbing Shoulders With Two Presidents
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The book is a memoir relating the author’s personal experiences as a free-lance journalist working in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 1965 to 1972. The early part of the book describes how he met President Soekarno and became quite close to him during the last year of his presidency. Soekarno made him sit on his chair and his girl friend on his wife’s chair during a performance one night at the president’s summer palace. He told the author, “You play president tonight.” The author also met President Suharto. The president and Mrs. Suharto invited him and a colleague to have lunch with the First Family on Monkey Island, one of the Thousand Islands Group in the Jakarta Bay. Suharto himself drove the car, with his wife next to him, in which the author and his colleague were seated on the passenger seat, on the trip from the president’s residence to the Yacht Club. Then the president was at the helm of the yacht steering her to Monkey Island. These were Indonesia’s first and second heads-of-state, more often than not portrayed by the foreign media as tyrannical and corrupt. But the author got to know the warm, friendly sides of the two leaders which he narrates in the book.

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