by Vincent O'Malley
(Bridget Williams Books, $80)
Reviewed by Jim Eagles
It is a sad commentary on New Zealand's interest in its own history that the most recent previous book-length account of the conflict in the Waikato, which had such a huge impact on the development of this country, was written in 1879 by John Featon, an artillery volunteer in the war who later became a journalist.
However, Vincent O'Malley's epic volume almost justifies the wait. This is a great book in every way. It is massive in size; its 688 pages printed on high-quality paper weighing in at a mighty 2.5kg (so heavy it is awkward to read in bed).
The only real flaw in the production is that the index is not up to the standard required of such an important work.
It is impressive in its scope, embracing not only the actual fighting in 1863-64, but also
the much more important causes and consequences.
[Read more at NZ Herald]