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An entirely new look at the shocking impact of the First World War on New Zealand.

An entirely new look at the shocking impact of the First World War on New Zealand.

For New Zealand, World War One was wholly avoidable, wholly unnecessary — and almost wholly disastrous. Stevan Eldred-Grigg believes that the enormous cost of the war to our people was way too high — and that we still feel its effects, both socially and culturally, today.

This is excellent narrative non-fiction, analysing our history in a novel way. It's very accessible but is backed up by meticulous research. Stevan goes against the accepted line and gives us a fascinating look at our social history before, during and just after WW1.

Why did we go to the war in Europe? Was the country united in its desire for war? What were the economic and social consequences? What has been the impact on the psyches of New Zeland men? These and many other questions are answered in this fascinating book.

In 2007 Harvey McQueen wrote in a review of New Zealand's Great War (an anthology of essays) that '[there is] a need for a general, popular history of 'our' Great War… we need a skilled writer in the mould of Sinclair, Oliver or King to give an overview and link the various elements into a coherent whole.' This is that book.

Formats & editions

Also by Stevan Eldred-Grigg

Shanghai Boy
Diggers, Hatters & Whores
Oracles & Miracles


Ned Kelly
The Story of the Jews
Young Hitler
Queens of the Conquest
The Fatal Shore
Australian Desperadoes
Guns, Germs And Steel
Beersheba Centenary Edition
Histories of Controversy
The Making of Australia
Sleeps Standing
The Last Shilling
Into the Heart of Tasmania
From the Edge
Shooting the Picture
Defending Gallipoli
Hitler's First Victims
Antiques Roadshow: World War I in 100 Family Treasures
A Broken World