The five-period encompassing the turn of the millennium was a time of profound transformation for the vast archipelago. The collapse of President Soeharto's three-decade of authoritarian rule triggered a series of events that would establish Indonesia as one of the world's largest democracies. It also unleashed powerful, often violent social forces that continue to threaten the viability and even survival of the nation.

Two of Jeremy Allan's books, now available in a combined edition, depict that tumultuous period through the lives of the people who were affected most: common Indonesians struggling to adapt to a disturbing, confusing, and occasionally frightening new world.  

Jakarta Jive looks at the tumultuous events surrounding the fall of Soeharto in the wake of the region-wide economic crisis of 1998. By telling the stories of Jakarta residents of all levels: an executive of a failed bank becomes a househusband as his wife opens a street-side café for the family’s survival; a Chinese-Indonesian university student comes to terms with the community wide trauma of mass rape through discovering her talent for photojournalism; a migrant domestic worker draws strength from his religion as he struggles to support his extended family in his home village, Jakarta Jive paints a ground-level, intimate portrait of a society undergoing profound transformation.

Bali Blues continues to explore the theme of common people in an uncommon time with an account of living in Kuta, Bali, during the months following the devastating terrorist bomb attack on two nightclubs in October 2002. In the chronicle of a year-long struggle to rebuild a shattered paradise focuses on a Balinese hotel manager's attempts to balance the demands of his community obligations with his professional responsibilities to his Jakarta-based superior. This brings him into conflict with a Kuta native who strives to prevent his community's character and traditions from being overwhelmed by the onslaught of economic migrants, which in turn contributes to the discrimination a bar girl faces as she struggles to support her impoverished family in rural Java. These stories, and others, provide an intriguing glimpse into an Indonesian community that, in a generation, has grown from an impoverished seaside village into a cosmopolitan tourist resort.

The stories in Jakarta Jive and Bali Blues are about more than personal resilience: these are tales meant to illuminate the traditions, customs, and beliefs that govern the behavior of Indonesian families, communities, and of the nation itself.