CHAPTER 3Indonesia: Lessons for an EHM

In addition to learning about my new career, I also spent time reading books about Indonesia. “The more you know about a country before you get there, the easier your job will be,” Claudine had advised. I took her words to heart.

When Columbus set sail in 1492, he was trying to reach Indonesia, known at the time as the Spice Islands. Throughout the colonial era, it was considered a treasure worth far more than the Americas. Java, with its rich fabrics, fabled spices, and opulent kingdoms, was both the crown jewel and the scene of violent clashes between Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, and British adventurers. The Netherlands emerged triumphant in 1750, but even though the Dutch controlled Java, it took them ...

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