G. Roger Knight's new book Sugar, Steam and Steel: The Industrial Project in Colonial Java, 1830-1885 is now available to download from the website of the University of Adelaide Press, at the link below. The publishers describe the book as follows:
Sugar, Steam and Steel is about cane sugar and the transformation of an Indonesian island into the ‘Oriental Cuba’ during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. While Cuba held the position of the world’s largest supplier of cane sugar to international commodity markets, ‘Dutch’ Java emerged from almost nowhere to take second place.
The island had begun the nineteenth century as one of a number of centres — in fact, a rather minor one — of pre-industrial sugar production located in tropical and sub-tropical Asia. It ended the century not only as by far the largest of Asia’s producer-exporters of sugar but also as the sole example of the sustained and successful large-scale industrialisation of sugar manufacture anywhere in ‘the East’.
This volume sets out to explain how and why this happened — and what its implications were for the long-term trajectory of the Java sugar industry in the international sugar economy.
The book can be found here.
Commodity type: sugar
Researcher: Roger Knight
Time period: 1800-1900