Many of New Zealand’s leading historians came together in a conference in 2003 to re-explore the 1913 Great Strike. The result is a challenging clash of perspectives: the reader will see this great strike through the eyes of the state, the police, the strikers, the militants, the moderates, the ruling and working classes.
The contributors debate these vital issues with a vigour that sometimes matches the event itself. Nevertheless, despite these differing takes on it, no one doubts that 1913 remains the most violent strike in New Zealand’s history: the military with naked bayonets and machine guns on our streets for all to see.
Each chapter leaves us with plenty to think about, in particular, about the shape, nature and history of democracy itself. This collection will be of vital interest to those interested in New Zealand history, law and order, class relations, the gender order and revolution.