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A History of the Left in New Zealand


A History of the Left in New Zealand

Writings on the left in New Zealand have tended to follow two paths: to minimise the influence of socialism or to push a particular line of thought. A new book takes the middle ground. On the Left: Essays on Socialism in New Zealand, edited by Pat Moloney and Kerry Taylor, published by University of Otago Press, explores the distinctive character of New Zealand socialism. The editors have used a non-sectarian approach that includes a wide-- range of socialist theory.

On the Left is the first comprehensive study of socialist thought and practice from the late nineteenth through the twentieth centuy. The essays examine the ideas, political organisations and social actions adopted by the left - from early syndicalism to feminist and unemployed movements -- and their impact on society. The result is a book that brings the left back in to New Zealand's historical consciousness -- and opens up a whole new field of historical enquiry.

Common themes running through the book are: how the left has been seen, its history, gender and ethnicity issues, the changing nature and diversity of the left, and the distinctive character of the New Zealand left.

Contents:

Introduction: Bringing the Left Back In

1 Whose Left/Who's Left? The Knights of Labour and 'Radical Progressivism', Robert E. Weir

2 State Socialism and William Pember Reeves: A Reassessment, Pat Moloney

3 Bringing on the Storm: Syndicalist Counterpublics and the Industrial Workers of the World in New Zealand, 1908-1914, Fran Shor

4 'Billy Banjo': Coalminer, Socialist, Poet and Novelist, Len Richardson

Governments, the Police and the Left, 1912-1951, Graeme Dunstall

6 'Potential Allies of the Working Class': The Communist Party of New Zealand and Maori, 1921-1952, Kerry Taylor

The New Left in New Zealand, Toby Boraman

Feminism and the Left: An Interview with Gay Simpkin, Kerry Taylor

9 Organising the Unemployed: The Politics of Gender, Culture and Class in the 1980s and 1990s, Cybele Locke

New Zealand Utopian Literature: A Short History, Lyman Tower Sargent

11 Writing the Left into the Picture: An Interview with Erik Olssen, Kerry Taylor

About the Editors

Pat Moloney is a Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at Victoria University, Wellington.

Kerry Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in New Zealand History and Politics at Massey University, Palmerston North.

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