Nordin Hussin, Trade and Society in the Straits of Melaka: Dutch Melaka and English Penang, 1780-1830. NIAS Press, 2006.
Without doubt Trade and Society in the Straits of Melaka is a truly pioneering study of urban history and breaks new ground in the context of Malaysian studies. It is a fine-grained social history, one that we rarely see in Southeast Asia. This study compares Melaka and Penang in the context of overall trends, namely, policy, geographical position, nature and direction of trade, morphology and society, and how these factors were influenced by trade as well as policies. The study is exhaustively researched and the arguments presented are supported by a close study of archival documents that will make new material available to other scholars. By documenting the impact of imperialist ambitions on the economy and society of two major trading centres, this book will provide a point of reference for all future research concerning the period.