MacKeown also introduces the earliest efforts of quantitative meteorology in the region, and documents the additional contributions made by Jesuit observatories at Manila and Shanghai. The study of typhoons and their forecasting was of the greatest importance, and MacKeown details the earliest studies of storms in the China Sea.
Apart from general readers interested in Hong Kong’s history, this book will attract historians of science, especially those familiar with China and with Western colonialism in Asia.
"This book provides valuable and informative insights into the controversies involving appropriate responses to the protection of life and property in any community when it comes to that ever contentious topic — the weather. All of this is set firmly within the context of the history of Hong Kong as a colony of the British Empire. The author presents a clever blending of personalities, politics, and day-to-day practicalities that is at once very readable, highly informative and entertaining. The storms that rage in the narrative as well as the tragedy of the very real storm of 1906 provide a fine sense of the drama that was being played out both locally and internationally in terms of jealousies and rivalries." — William J. Kyle, University of Hong Kong