New Zealand: Portrait of a Nation, by Graham Stewart (Grantham House Publishing, RRP $59.99):
We are fortunate to live in an incredibly picturesque country and that unrivalled beauty is to the fore in this stunning book that shows New Zealand’s development since European settlement.
Developed with the help of Fairfax Media newspapers from one end of the country to the other, New Zealand: Portrait of a Nation is a pictorial history lesson. New Zealand might be a young nation by world standards but a whole lot has happened in our short history, with our development at times coming at a dizzying pace.
The photos included in this book cover everything from our celebrations to our tragedies, engineering feats and Kiwis who conquered the world in their many and varied fields.
Author Graham Stewart has the right credentials to put together a book of this calibre not simply because of his news background but also because he has already shown an ability in the past to create compelling accounts of New Zealand’s past with his earlier books on topics, including the Tangiwai disaster.
He knows how to tell a story without over-telling it, how to let the photographs speak for themselves and let the words simply and unobtrusively fill in the gaps.
It’s about here I could tell you this is a book that would make a great Christmas present and it would.
However, it’s also a book that belongs in every New Zealand home, so why not get a copy for yourself. It will become one of those well-thumbed gems that you will never want to part with.