Letters — Issue 13

Dear Editor

Professor Clark’s review of our book in Vol 3, No 3 [#11, December 1993] has recently been drawn to my attention. I have always had the understanding that the task of a reviewer is to summarise the content and evaluate the argument and evidence on which that content is based. Obviously I was wrong. Book reviews are clearly an opportunity for reviewers to display their ignorance and prejudice. I have also always understood that reviewers should read the book before writing a review. I was obviously wrong on that score too. Not only does Professor Clark launch into vitriolic abuse, but she significantly distorts the argument in different parts of the book. But then, accuracy was never a prime feature of the lovers of the new right.

Let me give you the clearest example of the extortion [sic ‑ Ed]. She argues that “they even think the New Zealand Labour Party first came to power in the 1890s” (p101). The paragraph from which she draws this argument says as follows: “In New Zealand politicians, social thinkers and working people knew about this tragedy 100 years ago, and developed a political party to meet and overcome it. The ugly irony of Labour monetarism is that the same party has now brought the same tragedy on us again in the 1980s.” The distortion is evident.

In the same review article, Professor Clark also reviews the recent book by Roger Douglas Unfinished Business. She finishes that review with the sentence “he should be read with an open mind”. Professor Clark is clearly not of a mind to apply her advice to her own work.

M A O’Brien, Co‑author The Tragedy of the Market

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Letters
Search the archive
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
acf-field-group
acf-field
Filter by Categories
Architecture
Art
Autobiography
Awards
Biography
Byline
Children
Comment
Contents
ebooks
Economics
Editorial
Education
Essays
Extract
Fiction
Gender
Graphic novel
Health
History
Imprints
Language
Lecture
Letters
Letters
Literature
Māori
Media
Memoir
Music
Natural History
Non-fiction
Obituaries
Opinion
Pacific
Photography
Plays
Poem
Poetry
Politics & Law
Psychology
Religion
Review
Science
Short stories
Sociology
Sport
Subscribers only
Uncategorized
War
YA Reviewers
Young adults
Recent issues: subscriber-only access

Subscribe to NZ Books to access the issues above

Search by category

See more