Blog Archives

Walking in more than one world, Paula Morris

Being Chinese Helene Wong Bridget Williams Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780947492380 Going Places: Migration, Economics and the Future of New Zealand Julie Fry and Hayden Glass BWB Texts, $15.00, ISBN 9780947492694 The First Migration: Maori Origins 3000 BC – AD 1450 Atholl Anderson

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Making women visible, Katie Pickles

A History of New Zealand Women
Barbara Brookes
Bridget Williams Books, $70.00,
ISBN 9780908321452

Locating women in history is difficult. New Zealand women are present through the occasional mention in books, official records and newspaper stories but, because they were not considered the stuff of proper historical knowledge, capturing their substance poses many challenges. Their lives, work and thoughts were deemed of secondary importance to men’s, with only a few famous women being known by name. Women’s many and varied contributions were underplayed at the time and through the years, with significant traces of them only remaining in oral traditions passed down through the generations.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Gender, History, Non-fiction and Review

The archaeologist of memory, Ingrid Horrocks

The Dreaming Land Martin Edmond Bridget Williams Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780908321490 The Dreaming Land is Martin Edmond’s first full-length work of autobiography, but he’s been working in the territory of life writing and memoir for a long time. He is

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Driving home, Ann Beaglehole

Migrant Journeys: New Zealand Taxi Drivers tell their Stories Adrienne Jansen and Liz Grant (Michael Hall photographer) Bridget Williams Books, $40.00, ISBN 9781927277331 In Adrienne Jansen’s 1990 book I Have in My Arms Both Ways, 10 immigrant women told their

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

Dangerous confusion, Tim Hazledine

The Fire Economy: New Zealand’s Reckoning
Jane Kelsey
Bridget Williams Books, $50.00,
ISBN 9781927247839

“Imagine,” said the great physicist Richard Feynman, “how much harder physics would be if electrons had emotions!” Harder still, if not just emotions but consciousness, memory and reasoning power. Perhaps they do – I don’t know. I do know that people have these attributes and more, and I have come to appreciate just how difficult that fact makes life for those of us who study the human or social sciences, such as economics.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Economics, Non-fiction and Review

Looking for home, David Cohen

Barefoot Years
Martin Edmond
Bridget Williams Books, $15.00,
ISBN 9781927277676

On Coming Home
Paula Morris
Bridget Williams Books, $15.00,
ISBN 9780908321117

Somewhere in the course of his perceptive career, in what one assumes was a more or less idle moment, George Orwell turned his attention to the question of whether purchasing cigarettes or literature leaves a larger hole in the average reader’s pocket. To this cobweb-hung dilemma, the English essayist devoted all the remorseless attention with which Marx went about weighing the merits of capitalism and socialism; although there the comparison must end, for Orwell surely never strung a gilded sentence together that would cause a reader mental pain on account of its construction. His tentative conclusion: reading is indeed better for one’s financial health. Workers of the world, unlight!

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Essays, Non-fiction and Review

Tangata ora, Matariki Williams

Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History

Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris
Bridget Williams Books, $100.00,
ISBN 9781927131411

The final chapter of the weighty Tangata Whenua is titled “Tangata Whenua, Tangata Ora”, and the book could just as easily have been called that. Throughout the three millennia that are chronicled, an overwhelming theme of the book is that Māori endure, adapt, and live. Any student of New Zealand history will have heard the unfortunate phrase uttered in 1856 by physician and politician Dr Isaac Featherston, that it was the duty of Europeans to “smooth down … [the] dying pillow” for Māori. His was a viewpoint brought forth by the belief that the indigenous population could not withstand European conquest and disease. What more of a testament to Māori endurance can there be than the release of a book detailing the way in which Māori live, nigh on 150 years after that phrase was uttered?

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in History, Maori, Non-fiction and Review

Town and country, Brian Easton

Growing Apart: Regional Prosperity in New Zealand
Shamubeel Eaqub
Bridget Williams Books, $15.00,
ISBN 9781927277614

When the Farm Gates Opened: The Impact of Rogernomics on Rural New Zealand
Neal Wallace
Otago University Press, $30.00,
ISBN 9781877578724

In the last hundred years, the median population centre of New Zealand has moved from near Nelson (which is at the geographic centre of New Zealand) to near Hamilton. The drift north has been remorseless, as has been the drift to the cities. A hundred years ago, one in two New Zealanders lived rurally; today it is one in six, fewer than those who live in Auckland.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Economics, Non-fiction and Review

No drive-by answers, David Cohen

Sorrows of a Century: Interpreting Suicide in New Zealand, 1900-2000
John C Weaver
Bridget Williams Books, $60.00,
ISBN 9781927277232

All of us seek happiness, Pascal declared centuries ago, even at the point of a warm gun. “This is without exception,” argued the author of the Pensées:

Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Health, Non-fiction, Review and Sociology

A poverty of compassion, Rod Oram

Child Poverty in New Zealand
Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple
Bridget Williams Books, $50.00,
ISBN 9781927247860

“New Zealand has the necessary resources to reduce child poverty, and equitable and efficient ways to secure these resources are available. The question is not about our capacity, it is about our political will.” This is the unequivocal conclusion of Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple in their book Child Poverty in New Zealand. They base it on their exhaustive analysis of the scale, complexity and damage of child poverty, and the myriad ways we could tackle it.

See more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review and Sociology
Search
Search by category