Tangata Whenua: An illustrated history
by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris
(Bridget Williams Books, $99.99)
Reviewed by Mark Derby
This imposing tome seems more likely to be bought as a prestigious gift, or an adornment for the coffee table, than to become a carefully perused and frequently consulted addition to your personal book collection. In its heft, exceptional production values and omniscient tone, Tangata Whenua looms a bit like a Bentley in a downtown parking building – a distinguished and doomed reminder of a former literary age.
Even before reading the first word, its qualities are apparent in its heirloom materials, beautiful photo reproduction and classic, elegant page design. The superb production of my copy was only marred by a random and evidently unintended switch of typefaces in the middle of an essay on muttonbirding.
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