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Changing times, David Grant

>The New Zealand Labour Party 1916–2016
Peter Franks and Jim McAloon
Victoria University Press, $50.00,
ISBN 9781776560745

Researching a history of conservative political parties in New Zealand would be relatively straight-forward. The Reform/National Parties have, from their early beginnings to the present day, varied little ideologically – from centrist, to centre-right, to right – leaving the “far-right” tag essentially to those on that fringe, such as the Democrats in the 1930s, and ACT in more recent years. The same cannot be said of the New Zealand Labour Party, which veered from doctrinaire socialism under its first leader Harry Holland to, at the other extreme, unabashed neo-liberalism under David Lange (but led essentially by Roger Douglas) in the mid-to-late 1980s.

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law and Review

Memory, mateship and mortality, David Grant

Going South: A Road Trip Through Life Colin Hogg HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 9781775540816 The premise of this book is simple. Well-known journalist and influential rock music critic, Colin Hogg, was in deep discussion last year with mates at a birthday

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Moral force, John Campbell

The Mighty Totara: The Life and Times of Norman Kirk
David Grant
Random House, $50.00,
ISBN 9781775535799

I was 10 when Norman Kirk died. It was the first death I had ever registered. When the news came through, my parents became so silent (our house was never silent) that I remember it 40 years on: the radio and an absence. My memory also contains a physical location. It is the staircase between the living-room and our bedrooms. I am sitting on it, looking down, and my parents are below me at the big table. It is a photo in my head. An external sense, as if someone else was there to describe it, of me waiting for them to make sense of it all, as parents always do. But they can’t. I tell that story now because Norman Kirk’s death often seems to occasion the sharp remembrance of a closer loss, even in people who never met him. Mine is an almost story book recollection that I carry with me.

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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law and Review

Dressing Wellington’s radicals, David Grant

Sewing Freedom: Philip Josephs, Transnationalism and Early New Zealand Anarchism Jared Davidson AK Press, $15.00, ISBN 9781849351324 Philip Josephs was a Latvian-born Jewish tailor who escaped religious persecution in his home country. He emigrated firstly to Glasgow – the industrial

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law and Review

Room at the top, David Grant

White-collar Radical: Dan Long and the Rise of White-collar Unions        Mark Derby Craig Potton, $40.00, ISBN 9781877517174 Dan Long was an esteemed public servant and political and union activist from the late 1950s until his premature death

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

Cheerful, funny and popular, Trevor Richards

Man for All Seasons: The Life and Times of Ken Douglas  David Grant Random House, $45.00, ISBN 9781869793890   In Man for All Seasons: The Life and Times of Ken Douglas we have as the central character a trade unionist

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction and Review

Might and rights, Elspeth Sandys

Field Punishment No 1: Archibald Baxter, Mark Briggs and New Zealand’s Anti-Militarist Tradition David Grant, paintings by Bob Kerr Steele Roberts, $34.99, ISBN 9781877448461 In his introduction to Field Punishment No 1, David Grant expresses his satisfaction that New Zealand

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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction and Review

Something out of Dante’s Inferno, David Grant

Kiwi Compañeros: New Zealand and the Spanish Civil War  Mark Derby (ed) Canterbury University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781877257711 For the great bulk of New Zealanders between 1936 and 1939 the Spanish Civil War was like any other civil war; it

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review and War

Obituary — Richard King

Richard King (1948-2008) The New Zealand book world lost one of its most able and respected publishers with the sudden and premature death earlier this year of Richard King, managing editor of Canterbury University Press. Over the past decade CUP

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Telling tales out of school, Harvey Molloy

Those Who Can Teach: A History of Secondary Education in New Zealand from the Union Perspective David Grant Steele Roberts, $39.95, ISBN 1877338214 Welcome to the Campus of Struggle: Dispatches from the International Student Academic Front 1999-2004 David Cohen Dunmore

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Posted in Education, History, Non-fiction and Review
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