Winner of the ICAS Social Sciences 2017 Book Prize!
"It is a testimony to the humane breadth of concerns in Breman’s treatment of this aspect of global commodity production that questions such as these keep arising. Apart from studies by R.E. Elson and Radin Fernando, Java’s colonial historiography has been dominated recently by a near-obsessive concern with sugar. Breman’s in-depth study is hence a timely corrective — but it is, of course, very much more than that. It is a cliché to say that a book will be of great interest to both the ŸlayŒ reader and the specialist scholar. Th is book is precisely that, however, clearly set-out and handsomely produced by its Dutch publishers." - G. Roger Knight, The University of Adelaide Asian Studies Review, 2017 Vol. 41
Coffee has been grown on Java for the commercial market since the early eighteenth century, when the Dutch East India Company began buying from peasant producers in the Priangan highlands. What began as a commercial transaction, however, soon became a system of compulsory production. This book shows how the Dutch East India Company mobilised land and labour, why they turned to force cultivation, and what effects the brutal system they installed had on the economy and society.
Jan Breman is emeritus professor of comparative sociology at the University of Amsterdam. He continues his scholarly research, mainly focused on work and labour in Asia, as Fellow at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research and as a Honorary Fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam