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New Zealand, a short history by John Cawte…
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New Zealand, a short history (1936)

by John Cawte Beaglehole

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It has a very dated tone. I got it for 50 cents, and stopped reading about halfway through. It passes very everything prior to the 1890s in barely a few pages, and from then on focuses almost exclusively on the political succession at the top of the New Zealand government. It is written in a style which is difficult to follow for someone who knows almost nothing of the topic beforehand. I found it inaccessible in many places, especially early on.

My copy has a contemporary newspaper review glued in the front, which describes the book as being "the first history of [NZ] which has escaped the text-book taint, the emphasis on events, the recital of heroic episodes, the texture of patriotism and pride. It is chiefly concerned with trends, economic and political development, the growth of national character, and the future". Eighty years later the lack of "social" from that summary screams out. Thank god history has moved on from men and politics. I'll have to splurge beyond academic library second-hand book sales and read something more modern. Perhaps Wikipedia will do. ( )
  seabear | Apr 6, 2013 |
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