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Archive for October, 2008

What Will Obama Really Change?

Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise by “Team Book” at Obama For America with a Foreword by Barack Obama
Three Rivers Press, New York, 273 pp $28. Reviewed by PETER DYER

51n7tsqlcfl_sl160_.jpgIt is likely that on 20 January 2009, Senator Barack Obama will assume the office of President of the United States.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr will administer the oath of office to Obama who will “…solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States”.

As the first African-American major party candidate for President, Obama has used a gift for inspiring rhetoric to appeal for unity in the pursuit of “change we can believe in”. A series of extraordinary events has combined with an extraordinary campaign to capture unprecedented national and international attention. Read more »

¿Happy Families?

Every Second Friday by Kiri Lightfoot with illustrations by Ben Galbraith
Hachette Children’s Books. Reviewed by ALEXANDRA JOHNSON

everysecondfriday.jpgThis magically illustrated book is intelligent and complete with a pointed message for kids of separated parents.

It reinforces to kids that Dad’s home is theirs too, the walls being plastered with their drawings and photographs, the Dad in the story wholeheartedly enjoying his children’s company and telling them he loves them. Read more »

Life and Times of Charles Heaphy

Heaphy by Iain Sharp
Auckland University Press, 232 pp. $65. Reviewed by SIMON NATHAN

9781869404215.jpgIn 1915 Alexander Turnbull purchased a cache of early New Zealand paintings, originally the property of the New Zealand company. Costing £585 (today worth about $NZ76,000), it was one of his most inspired acquisitions. A large group of paintings by Charles Heaphy was repatriated to Wellington and over the following decades New Zealanders started to recognise the importance of Heaphy as an artist. Iain Sharp’s book is welcome because it illustrates and explains Heaphy’s paintings in the context of his life and times. Read more »

Geography and Genocide

Ferdinand von Hochstetter: Father of New Zealand Geology by Sascha Nolden
Auckland City Public Libraries, Auckland, 2008. Reviewed by Scott Hamilton

accounts_thumb.jpgTwo thousand and eight marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the arrival of the Austrian geologist and explorer Ferdinand von Hochstetter in Auckland. Hochstetter reached these shores on the frigate Novara, which had been dispatched on an around-the-world scientific expedition by the Hapsburg rulers of the Austrian Empire. When the Novara left Auckland at the beginning of 1859 Hochstetter stayed behind to work for the Auckland provincial government. He was soon travelling through the hinterlands of the North Island, climbing mountains, recording mineral deposits, and creating a series of rather attractive maps. Although he left these shores in October 1859, Hochstetter followed events here closely, and in 1867 he published a large book called Neu Seeland. Read more »

I HATE RAIN! (4 Hone 2-Far-Eh)

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Poem of the Week: I HATE RAIN! (4 Hone 2-Far-Eh)

By David Geary

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