Colonial Penang's pre-modern roots


Penang under the East India Company 1786-1858

Andrew Barber
AB&A. 2009; Hard cover;160 pages

Review by Ooi Kee Beng

The salience of the approach Barber chose to tell the early history of Penang is seen immediately in the introduction through several observations that immediately remind us of the island settlement's unique place in history.

Describing Penang's early fate within the internal dynamics of the British East India Company makes for a highly suggestive and informative narrative, not only about politics and economics but more interestingly about the cultural distinctiveness of Britain's first settlement east of India.

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