University of Wisconsin–Madison

Dan Doeppers awarded the Philippine National Book Award for Best Book in History: Feeding Manila in Peace and War, 1850-1945

The National Book Development Board and the Manila Critics Circle are pleased to announce the winners of the 36th National Book Awards.

Daniel F. Doeppers’s Feeding Manila in Peace and War, 1850-1945 has been awarded a Philippine National Book Award as the Best Book in History.  Published in 2016, the book is part of the UW Press series: New Perspectives in Southeast Asian Studies.

Feeding Manila in Peace and War, 1850–1945
Daniel F. Doeppers

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.