History lessons

Disputed Histories, by Tony Ballantyne and Brian Moloughney (Otago University Press, $49.95):

While there is growing interest in New Zealand’s history there are few genuine debates about the topic.

This book brings together leading historians seeking to disrupt conventional reading of our history in order to open up exploration and debate.

About now, you might be thinking that this sounds like it might just be a bunch of academics writing to raise controversy. And you’d be right about some of it.

However, there are plenty of essays to enjoy and the contributors have not always opted to be controversial simply for reaction.

For a tiny country, New Zealand has many pasts, brought about by the many settlers from such a huge variety of countries.

The book shows new ways of understanding our history and it’s our history that makes us what we are today.

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