Michael King was one of New Zealand's leading historians and biographers. In 2006 he was named one of 100 most important New Zealanders that have ever lived. He published more than 34 books in his lifetime. His last, The Penguin History of New Zealand, has sold more than 200,000 copies and is widely considered to be the definitive history of New Zealand. His work in literary biography - most notably Wrestling With the Angel, on the life of Janet Frame - also received great critical acclaim. He made many level-headed contributions to race-relations debates and is sorely missed by his country.
If you want a telescoped history of humanity, read about the Chatham Islands. The original inhabitants, the Moriori, called it Rekohu or misty skies. The last settled place on earth, it is situated in the path of the roaring forties, winds that blow west to east in the latitudes 40° to 50°. Directly east of the Chathams, the next landfall is 10,000 kilometers away: Chile. The Moriori lived for centuries as pacifists. They did their share of ecological damage, and caused some extinctions, but they didn't have the tools to really do a job on the place. Then the sealers, whalers and other marauders arrived. Taranaki Maoris arrived in the 1830s, murdered two hundred of them and enslaved the rest. The islands became a Maori colony. It also served as a penal colony, there were religious groups, prophets, a German 'invasion'... What needs further investigation is the possible links between these islands and Easter Island, which ironically are administered by Chile. The stunning photography and lively text made the book a treasure to read.
Great find so many memories I have growing up on the island. The school picture with the school myself and my sister went to with all who went back then. My daddy a fisherman. My mummy worked in the meat / fish factory.