In this talk Ben Schrader offers some reflections on the writing of his recent book The Big Smoke: New Zealand Cities, 1840-1920 (Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, 2016). This is a free public event but please RSVP to email@example.com with Big Smoke in the subject line.
Why did he write the book and how did he go about it? What were the challenges and rewards of writing a broad story in a narrowly researched field? He then reveals some of the most important findings from the project and suggests ways they increase our understanding of New Zealand’s past. Finally, he ponders how the work might shape future research. Might, for example, his focus on the lived experience of city dwellers suggest social history is making a long-awaited comeback?
This is the first of the free public history talks presented by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the National Library of New Zealand. The monthly talks are at lunchtime 12.15pm – 1.00pm on the first Wednesday of each month until November. Our new venue will be Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library Building, corner of Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington.
These public history talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and thanks to this partnership we’re now able to resume recording the talks and making them available online http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/handsonhistory/downloads-and-podcasts for anyone who misses out or who wants to listen again.