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Stirring up the dust, John McLellan

Tutu Te Puehu: New Perspectives on the New Zealand Wars
John Crawford and Ian McGibbon (eds)
Steele Roberts, $50.00, ISBN 9780947493721

In February 2011, over 150 years after the start of the First Taranaki War, the first ever conference dedicated to the New Zealand Wars, “Tutu te Puehu: New Zealand’s Wars of the Nineteenth Century”, was held at Massey University’s Wellington campus. The fact that it took such a length of time for a conference to be held on this subject exemplifies the lack of impetus the New Zealand Wars have previously held in the narrative of the nation. But, thankfully, in the seven or eight years in which it took to publish this edited collection of papers presented at the conference, Tutu te Puehu: New Perspectives on the New Zealand Wars, there has been a welcome groundswell of interest in the subject.

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Posted in History, Māori, Non-fiction, Review, War

New Zealand’s bloodiest campaign, Steven Loveridge

New Zealand’s Western Front Campaign
Ian McGibbon
Bateman, $80.00,
ISBN 9781869539269

Efforts to explain and/or convey WWI’s Western Front have endured for a century. Libraries could be stocked with military histories investigating the operation of armies, the performance of commanders and the fortunes (often the misfortunes) of this critical centre of the war. Social and cultural studies contemplating subjects ranging from soldiers’ experiences, interpretations rendered in memoirs and monuments, and the wider legacies etched on belligerent societies, have flourished as avenues of inquiry. Popular cultural representations have likewise worked in establishing and transmitting a sense of the subject – the humour within Blackadder’s irreverent summation (“the mud, the noise, the endless … poetry”), for example, hinges on evoking accepted and shared touchstones with the audience.

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Delicate flowers of the wasteland, Les Cleveland

Love in Time of War: Letter Writing in the Second World War Deborah Montgomerie Auckland University Press, $35.00, ISBN 1869403363 Freyberg’s War: The Man, the Legend, the Reality Matthew Wright Penguin Books, $35.00, ISBN 0143019856 Western Front: The New Zealand

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Over there, Tony Simpson

New Zealand and the Second World War  Ian McGibbon Hodder Moa Beckett, $40.00, ISBN 1869589548 A Fair Sort of Battering: New Zealanders remember the Italian Campaign ed Megan Hutching HarperCollins, $40.00, ISBN 1869505050 The Desert Railway  Brendan Judd Penguin, $29.95,

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

War tourism, Les Cleveland

One Flag, One Queen, One Tongue: New Zealand, the British and the South African War ed John Crawford and Ian McGibbon Auckland University Press, $39.99, ISBN 1869402936 Landscapes of Conflict: A Field Guide to the New Zealand Wars Nigel Prickett

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

Letters of the Titans, Terence O’Brien

Unofficial Channels: Letters between Alister McIntosh and Foss Shanahan, George Laking and Frank Corner, 1946-1966 ed Ian McGibbon Victoria University Press, $39.95, ISBN 0 86473 365 8 A first reaction upon reading this compilation of selected letters between the four

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Posted in Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

In the wars, Piers Reid

The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History ed Ian McGibbon, with the assistance of Paul Goldstone Oxford University Press, $89.95, ISBN 0195583760   The 20th century has seen a significant readjustment of New Zealand’s outlook on matters of defence.

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, War

An assiduous industry Les Cleveland

Scars on the Heart: Two Centuries of New Zealand at War Chris Pugsley with Laurie Barber, Buddy Mikaere, Nigel Prickett, Rose Young David Bateman in association with the Auckland Museum, $69.95, ISBN 1 86953 301 1 New Zealand and the

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Posted in Health, Non-fiction, Review, War
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