Nd grabbing racist and conniving colonialist 256 This Brooking argues is little than caricature He describes Seddon as clumsy and naive at first but as ntering into a prolonged learning curve Overall a careful reconsideration of Seddon s relations with Maori suggests that his record was at worst mixed 256Another big issue Seddon s relationship with labour Cranky historians have argued he did not really serve labour s interests that he diverted workers from organization of a proper Labour Party Brooking credits Seddon for holding Liberals including the key popular liberals and labour in ffective coalition This was largely a matter of Seddon s own mana My own take on this I don t think Seddon was ither liberal or labour He was a conservative More on that laterMost affective moment in the book Seddon carries Sir George Gray down the stairs of the Hotel Cecil 291 92Seddon s refusal to join Australian confederation and his imperial posturing in the Pacific actually make sense if you take them in context Seddon was a imperial loyalist but he had fundamental loyalities to New Zealand also He was a nation builder This carries over into the next topic Fascinating treatment of landscape preservation Seddon s passionate appeal reinforces the point that nvironmentalism is most relevant when it involves those working at the sharp nd of the nvironmental ncounter as he had done 370 We need to Resents an altogether sympathetic Aramaic Bowl Spells: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls Volume One erudite appraisal Reconciling two generations of New Zealand scholarship Richard Seddon King of God's Own demonstrates that while holding fast to common ideals Seddon was successful by mastering the art of the possible He knew instinctively what hislectorate would tolerate and remained in step with public opinion Despite contradictions in his attitudes towards other races he fought to Xenophon And His World (Historia Einzelschriften) ensure privilege did not becomentrenched in what he Geography of the Gaze: Urban and Rural Vision in Early Modern Europe envisioned as a white man's utopia In this perceptive newvaluation political historian Tom Brooking xplains Seddon's complex relationship with Maori and shows how he in fact held a progressively bi cultural vision for the future of 'God'.
In two weeks I ll take part in a discussion of Brooking s landmark biography of Seddon at the annual meeting of the New Zealand and Australian Studies Section Western Social Science Association What I m posting as a review here then are my rough notes for the discussionBig man big book by the country s leading historian Rather an indulgent book What s the rationale for this The right historian for the task Brooking takes account of old country roots both as matters of cultural derivation and as continuing imperial influences but at heart he is a New Zealander In a historical profession that shies from affiliations specially those of nation and poses as cosmopolitan he really cares about New Zealand and about the country s dominating political figure the closest thing the country has to a founding father SeddonMany ways in which Seddon formed the political structure and culture of New Zealand but the first time I folded over a page corner was p 132 Seddon helped change the style of politics irrevocably during the 1893 One Wild Weekend election campaign by imposing stricter party discipline thanver before and Forgetful of Their Sex engaging with thelectorate on an unprecedented scale Seddon modernized NZ politics This ntailed a certain loss of innocenceExtended treatment of Maori relations with focus on Liberal land issues pressure to acuire lands for settlement leading historians to characterize Seddon as a rapacious la. The life the health the intelligence and the morals of the nation count for than riches and I would rather have this country free from want and sualor and unemployed than the home of multi millionaires' Richard Seddon 1905 Casting a long shadow over New Zealand history Richard John Seddon Premier from 1893 to his untimely death in 1906 held a clear vision for the country he led Pushing New Zealand in galitarian directions than ver before he was both the builder and the maintenance man – if not the architect – of our country Challenging popular opinion of New Zealand's longest serving Prime Minister as a ruthless pragmatist cunning misogynist and Imperialistic jingoist this landmark biography of Seddon
Alk about thisAnother historical dispute about Seddon was he misogynist Did he manipulate the suffrage issue I ll leave this for othersMost intriguing of all Brooking s treatment of the final years of Seddon s regime as he slides left with a sort of Christian socialism Working for the health of mothers and infants nhancing old age pensions livable housing for working class families Socialism I think not Seddon does not speak of these things as Walled (The Line, entitlements or rights Rather they are the right thing to do things to be done as we are able This is the definition of conservatism Seddon was neither liberal nor labour Well mates this is uite anxtensive biography of Richard Seddon Am I the target audience for this Absolutely Regardless this is not only an Cruel Attachments: The Ritual Rehab of Child Molesters in Germany excellentxamination of Seddon as a leader but is also a thorough overview of a significant period of New Zealand history in which our government built our reputation a social laboratory and God s Own Country At times this narrative is a little heavy on legislative detail and Brooking s tone veers into scathing reference to other historical interpretations for brief moments Ultimately it s safe to say this is both the most thorough analysis of New Zealand s longest serving Prime Minister yet written and it will likely stand as the definitive text on Seddon for a long time A valuable contribution to the historical literature of our nation. S Own Country' Seddon was no saint Somewhat autocratic and given to petty nepotism he nevertheless remains the most dominant political leader in our country's history Internationally his high profile within the Empire helped put New Zealand on the map Domestically he sought a middle ground between free market xtremism and full blown socialism And privately Seddon was a devoted family man his actions shaped much by his supportive wife and assertive daughters than has previously been realised Richard Seddon King of God's Own is a superlative achievement in New Zealand history writing Absorbing wide ranging and beautifully articulated it reframes and repositions one of the founding fathers of modern New Zealand.