Blog Archives

Gold-panning history, Paul Moon

Rushing for Gold: Life and Commerce on the Goldfields of New Zealand and Australia Lloyd Carpenter and Lyndon Fraser (eds) Otago University Press, $45.00 ISBN 9781877578540 Since 1887, when Vincent Pyke’s History of the Early Gold Discoveries in Otago was

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Posted in History, Non-fiction and Review

A shadowy part of the country’s history, Paul Moon

From Alba to Aotearoa: Profiling New Zealand’s Scots Migrants 1840-1920 Rebecca Lenihan Otago University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781877578793 Migration, Ethnicity, and Madness: New Zealand, 1860-1910 Angela McCarthy Otago University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781927322000 The 12th century; 1642; 1769. These are

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Posted in History, Maori, Non-fiction and Review

Moving historiographical boundaries, Paul Moon

Man of Secrets: The Private Life of Donald McLean
Matthew Wright
Penguin, $40.00,
ISBN 9780143572213

At the Margin of Empire: John Webster and Hokianga, 1841–1900
Jennifer Ashton
Auckland University Press, $50.00,
ISBN 9781869408251

Those of us interested in reading about the past are increasingly confronted with history as abstraction or abstruse argument. Dense theoretical postulations tend to trump reasoned accounts of events, and entangled academic prose can displace engaging narrative. Here, though, are two biographies which in quite different ways are both antidotes to the creeping sterility of some history-writing, and which provide important perspectives on New Zealand’s maturation as a nation-state during the 19th century.

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Making up New Zealand, Geoff Watson

Encounters: The Creation of New Zealand. A History
Paul Moon
Penguin Books
ISBN 9780143568506

The Voyagers: Remarkable European Explorations of New Zealand
Paul Moon
Penguin Books
ISBN 9780143570554

In a year in which the historical focus is very much on the centenary of WWI, two recently published books by Paul Moon remind us that we have a much longer history than our involvement in that conflict and that there are many ways, other than warfare, through which New Zealand’s identity can, and has been, defined.

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Opening the vaults, Paul Goldsmith

Turning Points Paul Moon New Holland Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781869663797 Visiting the Catlins once, I walked under ancient trees, rimu or possibly beech, which our guide pointed out were more than a thousand years old. The trees pre-dated human population

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Imperial entanglements, Paul Moon

Webs of Empire: Locating New Zealand’s Colonial Past  Tony Ballantyne Bridget Williams Books, $50.00, ISBN 9781927131435 Books on Britain’s colonisation of New Zealand range from the often jingoistic efforts of some writers in the 19th century, through to the heavily

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Receding fast, Kevin L. Jones

New Zealand in the 20th Century: The Nation, The People Paul Moon HarperCollins, $50.00, ISBN 9781869508043 A declaration of interest: as an archaeologist, I am a consumer of 20th-century history. The beginning of the century (1900) is where our Historic

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North and south, Paul Moon

Te Wiremu – Henry Williams: Early Years in the North Caroline Fitzgerald (ed) Huia, $45.00, ISBN 9781869694395   John Larkins Cheese Richardson: “The Gentlest, Bravest and Most Just of Men” Olive Trotter Otago University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781877578014   For

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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction and Review

Cannibalism and communion, Andrew Fieldsend

This Horrid Practice: The Myth and Reality of Traditional Maori Cannibalism Paul Moon Penguin Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780143006718 Macaulay said that history was sometimes fiction, sometimes theory. But Paul Moon’s provocative and controversial book sets out to establish objective facts

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Troubled missionary, Paul Moon

God’s Messenger: J F Riemenschneider and Racial Conflict in 19th Century New Zealand Peter Oettli Huia, $55.00, ISBN 9781869693201 The lives of missionaries in 19th century New Zealand have tended to end up being documented in two forms. The first

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