Auckland, New Zealand : Auckland University Press, 2015.
Book — 396 pages : maps ; 22 cm
First published in 1986, James Belich's groundbreaking book and the television series based upon it transformed New Zealanders' understanding of the `bitter and bloody struggles' between M?ori and P?keh? in the nineteenth century. Revealing the enormous tactical and military skill of M?ori, and the inability of the `Victorian interpretation of racial conflict' to acknowledge those qualities, Belich's account of the New Zealand Wars offered a very different picture from the one previously given in historical works. M?ori, in Belich's view, won the Northern War and stalemated the British in the Taranaki War of 1860-61 only to be defeated by 18,000 British troops in the Waikato War of 1863-64. The secret of effective M?ori resistance was an innovative military system, the modern p?, a trench-and-bunker fortification of a sophistication not achieved in Europe until 1915. According to the author: `The degree of Maori success in all four major wars is still underestimated - even to the point where, in the case of one war, the wrong side is said to have won.' This bestselling classic of New Zealand history is a must-read - and Belich's larger argument about the impact of historical interpretation resonates today. (source: Nielsen Book Data)