Blog Archives

Whose history? Simon Hay

wThe Expatriate Myth: New Zealand Writers and the Colonial World  Helen Bones Otago University Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781988531175 The Expatriates  Martin Edmond Bridget Williams Books, $50.00, ISBN 9781988533179 Helen Bones aims to dismantle the “myth” that New Zealand writers, in…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

At a crossroads, Max Harris

Unquiet Time: Aotearoa/New Zealand in a Fast-changing World Colin James Fraser Books, $39.50, ISBN 9780994136015 Last year, Colin James published his final weekly column with the Otago Daily Times, after over 50 years of work as a journalist. In a…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Grudging nationalist, Mark Williams

Charles Brasch: Journals 1945-1957 Peter Simpson (ed) Otago University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9781927322284 I approached this book rather in the spirit of someone visiting a civic monument to a figure august and admired, but obscurely known. In the late 1980s,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

“An area of increasing need”, Sylvan Thomson

Representing Trans: Linguistic, Legal and Everyday Perspectives  Evan Hazenberg and Miriam Meyerhoff (eds) Victoria University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781776561759   The day before this review was due, my mother messaged me to say that she had heard an interview on…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Getting the news out, James Norcliffe

Surviving 7.8: New Zealanders Respond to the Earthquakes of November 2016 Phil Pennington and Radio New Zealand HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 9781775541103   New Zealanders, Cantabrians in particular, have, over the last half-dozen years, become reluctant experts in earthquakes. We have…
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Posted in History, Media, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Larrikins past, Nick Bollinger

Teenagers: The Rise of Youth Culture in New Zealand Chris Brickell Auckland University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781869408688   In 1971, I became a teenager. It was the start of a complicated, confusing, exciting time. Over the next few years, I…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Gloomy agreement, Tom Brooking

The New Zealand Project Max Harris Bridget Williams Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780947492588 New Zealand: Paradise Squandered? Reflections on What We’ve Lost and Where We’re Heading John Hawkes John Hawkes, $40.00, ISBN 9780473375553 Two New Zealanders at either end of their…
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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review, Sociology

Fiasco, Jon Johansson

Hit and Run: The New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan and the Meaning of Honour Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson Potton & Burton, $35.00, ISBN 9780947503390 As someone who has been around the political traps a fair while, my heuristic for…
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Posted in Media, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Revisiting the 1930s, Tony Simpson

The Broken Decade: Prosperity, Depression and Recovery in New Zealand 1928–1939 Malcolm McKinnon Otago University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781927322260 In 1968, I left my home town of Christchurch and came to Wellington to work as a producer in radio in…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Town and country, Simon Upton

The Big Smoke: New Zealand Cities 1840-1920 Ben Schrader Bridget Williams Books, $60.00, ISBN 9780947492434 I live in a very large city – Paris. It is a melting-pot of anonymity, dynamic and dangerous. There are futuristic experiments in eco-design and…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology
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