Feeding Manila in Peace and War, 1850–1945
New Perspectives in Southeast Asian Studies
Alfred W. McCoy, I. G. Baird, Katherine Bowie, and Anne Ruth Hansen, Series Editors
Winner, Best Book in History, Philippine National Book Award
“Outstanding, wide-ranging scholarship shines in every chapter. Doeppers crafts a thoughtful, well-reasoned analysis of provisioning Manila and comparable cities. This is a sterling example of how to investigate and analyze such questions, not only for other parts of the Philippines but elsewhere in Southeast Asia and beyond.”
Policymakers and scholars have come to realize that getting food, water, and services to the millions who live in the world’s few dozen megacities is one of the twenty-first century’s most formidable challenges. As these populations continue to grow, apocalyptic scenarios—sprawling slums plagued by hunger, disease, and social disarray—become increasingly plausible. In Feeding Manila in Peace and War, 1850–1945, Daniel F. Doeppers traces nearly a century in the life of Manila, one of the world’s largest cities, to show how it grew and what sustained it.
Doeppers follows key commodities for the city—rice, produce, fish, fowl, meat, milk, flour, coffee—and their complex interconnections. In the process he considers the changing ecology of the surrounding region as well as the social fabric that weaves together farmers, merchants, transporters, storekeepers, and door-to-door vendors.
“After forty years’ research in the streets of Manila and archives on three continents, Doeppers has produced a landmark study in the fields of urban history and human geography. Empirically, this book is the first to chart Manila’s rise from a small port to a nascent metropolis, spinning a narrative that ends tragically amid the mass starvation and fiery destruction of World War II. Theoretically, Feeding Manila offers a pathbreaking analysis of the urban-rural linkages that sustained this rapid urbanization over the span of a century, illuminating a problem increasingly critical in a world of hungry megacities. Methodologically, Doeppers deftly merges a mass of historical documentation into a taut analytical narrative. In sum, a stunning scholarly achievement.”
—Alfred W. McCoy, author of Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State
“Feeding Manila is a straightforward, if quite amazingly detailed and statistics-rich, academic study of ‘provisionment.’ . . . The book is well-illustrated with photographs, drawing and contemporary advertisements.”
—Asian Review of Books
“By traversing a hundred years of two colonial eras, Feeding Manila successfully fills the crucial gap of the previous researches and overcomes their deficiencies. . . . There is no doubt that the fruit of this monumental work by Daniel F. Doeppers will last long in the studies of Philippine history and society, while keeping its stand as an important contribution for Southeast Asian studies.”
—Journal of Economic History
“Doeppers’s well-researched and well-written study sets a standard for future studies of megacities. The book is in my opinion nothing less than a masterpiece.”
—International Journal of Asian Studies
“Theoretically grounded, methodologically sophisticated, and written in outstanding scholarly narrative, the book is able to integrate different elements of the history of Manila, the archipelago, and the region in a thought-provoking, remarkable account that spans the history of an entire century.”
Of Related Interest
New in Paperback!
LC: 2015009224 DS
446 pp. 6 x 9
38 b/w illus., 9 maps, 13 tables, 10 graphs