Tuesday, October 13, 2020

New book ensures the Musket Wars will not be forgotten

The Forgotten Wars: Why the Musket Wars matter today

Ron Crosby

Distinguished author outlines why this crucial phase of New Zealand history matters and should be taught today


Ron Crosby couldn’t believe his eyes when the Ministry of Education released its draft curriculum for compulsory teaching of New Zealand history. 


Subjects to be covered included initial contacts between Māori and Europeans, and early colonial history — but not the Musket Wars. 

In The Forgotten Wars, Crosby sets out to ensure that readers will be able to appreciate just how much of an omission that was.


For, as he describes in the book, these conflicts between 1806 and 1845 were the longest period of continuous warfare in Aotearoa, and laid the basis of relationships between iwi and hapū ever since — not to mention featuring endless cycles of utu and feats of bravery, including the campaigns of Hongi Hika and Te Rauparaha.

Muskets, potatoes and other introductions fundamentally altered the balance of power in 19th-century Aotearoa, leading to inter-iwi conflicts that claimed tens of thousands of lives (killing, wounding or displacing up to half of the Māori population).


Drawing on his seminal The Musket Wars, this concise work breaks the wars down by region and tribe, with stunningly detailed maps and illustrations that will help to ensure these epochal conflicts are no longer forgotten.


The author

Ron Crosby with his wife Margy

Ron Crosby burst onto the New Zealand book scene in 1999 with The Musket Wars (still in print through Oratia Books), and has followed that with a range of other titles including NZSAS: The First Fifty Years. Formerly a barrister specialising in resource management and iwi claims, Ron was appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal in 2011. He lives in Blenheim with his wife Margy (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri). A keen tramper and hunter, Ron and family  have walked and visited many of the sites and trails featured in this new book.

Publication: 14 October 2020  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-79-7  | RRP $39.99

Paperback, 240 x 160 mm portrait, 208 pages, b&w with 16-pp colour


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