This History owes its origin to the inspiration of Mr. M. M. Rafi who, during his term of office as Mayor of Rangoon in 1936, first advanced the proposal that the Corporation of this City should undertake the production of such a work. The Corporation adopted the suggestion and was kind enough to do me the honour of inviting me to compile the History.
Readers of the hook will, I fear, almost inevitably he disappointed in the account of the modern city : it proved impossible, unless the hook were to be overloaded with excessive detail, to do justice to all the various branches of life of a great city in modern times. Each of the departments of municipal administration, for example -- police, education, public health, etc. -- would in itself repay full treatment in a separate monograph, and there is much room for further work in these directions. Equally, changes in the physical appearance of the city, in regard to the disappearance of old buildings, would provide matter for much discussion. But within the limits of a single book, detailed treatment of these matters was not feasible; and ruthless elimination and concentration on a few major issues were found to be the only means of keeping the work within a reasonable compass.
In transliterations into English, the original form has been followed in the case of quotations, but elsewhere the forms of Burmese words employed in Harvey's History of Burma have as a rule been used, as being the most convenient for the general reader. ....................