This book takes a new look at New Zealand's past. The result is an impeccable reference work that doubles as a great read that is ideal for dipping.
Significant events in New Zealand history are recorded strictly in chronological order, with the precise date (day and month) given wherever possible. A comment explaining the significance of the event, and adding colour and interest, is also included. There is an extensive index.
The reader can use the book in two ways:
1. As a reference book confirming precise dates of known events.
2. As a general read that gives a flavour of the times at any particular point in New Zealand history.
The book includes short chapter introductions covering one or more decades at a time, giving an overview of the period as well as mentioning overseas events. The main substance of the book contains NZ historical events, dated and described. Coverage starts in prehistory and ends at 2000 (change of millennium). It includes occasional contemporary images of specific events or days.
As a reliable source of information it should become a fixture in every library in the country, useful to schoolchildren, students and historians.
It will also have a place in the large general market for books about New Zealand history.
Alison Dench is an Auckland writer and editor.