This book rewrites the history of the founding of modern Australia. It tells how the French had a jump start in the race for a Pacific empire, but English officials then launched their own pursuit around the globe. The contestants finally met in Botany Bay, with the French just five days too late. Behind the scenes, American explorers, spies and a future US President made contributions that assisted the winners and prevented the continent becoming a French possession.
Uprising, Nic Low
A riveting blend of nature writing, indigenous storytelling and great adventure in the NZ alps This book is about walking as a form of knowing. Armed with Ngai Tahu’s ancient oral maps and modern satellite atlas, I crossed the Southern Alps more than a dozen times, trying to understand how our forebears saw the land. What did it mean to define your identity by sacred mountains, or actually see them as ancestors, turned to stone? Raised in the shadow of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, Nic Low grew up on stories of mountain exploration from his family’s European side. Years later, a vision of the alps in a bank of storm clouds sparked his return home, and a decade-long obsession with comprehending how his Maori ancestors knew that same terrain. Ka Tiritiri o te Moana, the alps, form the backbone of the Ngai Tahu tribe’s territory- five hundred kilometres of mountains and glaciers, rivers and forests. Far from being virgin wilderness, the area was named and owned long before Europeans arrived and the struggle for control of the land began. Low talked with tribal leaders, dived into the archives and an astonishing family memoir, and took what he learned for a walk. Part gripping adventure story, part meditation on history and place, Uprising recounts his alpine expeditions to unlock the stories living in the land. What does it mean to transport pounamu, greenstone, across three hundred kilometres of rivers and ranges for the first time in almost two centuries? How does it feel to climb the sacred peak Aoraki / Mt Cook, then deliberately turn back before the top? And if you ignore traditional omens and try to cross the Main Divide in the dead of winter, should you expect to survive? Uprising brings a staunchly indigenous perspective to the walking tradition of writers like Robert Macfarlane. It is an invitation to travel one of the world’s most spectacular landscapes in the footsteps of Maori explorers, raiding parties, and gods.
Progress, Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future – Johan Norberg
Our world seems to be collapsing. The daily news cycle reports the deterioration: divisive politics across the Western world, racism, poverty, war, inequality, hunger. While politicians, journalists and activists from all sides talk about the damage done, Johan Norberg offers an illuminating and heartening analysis of just how far we have come in tackling the greatest problems facing humanity. In the face of fear-mongering, darkness and division, the facts are unequivocal: the golden age is now. Recommended Reading
Te Rauparaha – Tamihana Te Rauparaha
Kaore kau he kaumatua hei rite mo Te Rauparaha te mohio ki te whawhai, me te toa hoki, me te tino tangata ki te atawhai tangata. There has never been a man equal to Te Rauparaha in terms of knowledge of warfare and prowess in battle, and in being so dedicated to looking after people. -Tamihana Te Rauparaha Te Rauparaha is most well known today as the composer of the haka ‘Ka Mate’, made famous the world over by the All Blacks. A major figure in nineteenth-century history, Te Rauparaha was responsible for rearranging the tribal landscape of a large part of the country after leading his tribe Ngati Toa to migrate to Kapiti Island. He is venerated by his own descendants but reviled with equal passion by the descendants of those tribes who were on the receiving end of his military campaigns in the musket-war era. He Pukapuka Tataku i nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui is a 50,000-word account in te reo Maori of Te Rauparaha’s life, written by his son Tamihana Te Rauparaha between 1866 and 1869. A pioneering work of Maori (and, indeed, indigenous) biography, Tamihana’s narrative weaves together the oral accounts of his father and other kaumatua to produce an extraordinary record of Te Rauparaha and his rapidly changing world. Edited and translated by Ross Calman, a descendant of Te Rauparaha, He Pukapuka Tataku i nga Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui makes available for the first time this major work of Maori literature in a parallel Maori/English edition.
Pakeha Maori – Trevor Bentley
This book describes one of the most extraordinary and fascinating stories in NZ history. In the early part of the last century several thousand runaway seamen and escaped convicts settled in Maori communities. Jacky Mamon, John Rutherford, Charlotte Badger and many others – this is their largely untold story. They were regarded as unsavoury renegades by the European settlers, but amongst Maori they were usually welcomed. Many Pakeha Maori took wives and were treated as Maori, others were treated as slaves. Some received the moko, the facial or body tattoo. Others became virtual white chiefs and fought in battle with their adopted tribe. A few even fought against European soldiers, advising their fellow fighters about European infantry and artillery tactics. In this, the first-ever book devoted solely to the Pakeha Maori, Trevor Bentley describes in fascinating detail how the strangers entered Maori communities, adapted to tribal life and played a significant role in the merging of the two cultures.