Published online by Cambridge University Press: 07 September 2010
WITH great pleasure I comply with the request that I should write a few lines of introduction to this remarkable book. For indeed this book fully deserves to be called a remarkable book.
As is proved by the “Index of References” towards the end of the book, especially in the last three decennia in everincreasing number and in great variety, books on Netherlands-India have been published, both by foreign and by Dutch authors: purely scientific books and so-called popular books, books giving a general survey of the conditions prevailing in the Dutch East Indies and books treating of special chapters in various fields. I have read most of them, but seldom have I enjoyed and appreciated a book as much as I did when perusing Mr Furnivall's work. Time failed me to make a more careful study of the details, but my general impression is that the author has succeeded in a wonderful way in giving a concise treatise of the political, social and economic history and development of that part of the Tropical Far East that has been for more than three centuries under Dutch sovereignty.
The structure of the book proves that the author is a scientist familiar with scientific methods and still nowhere does the scientific character weigh heavily on the mind of the nonscientific reader.