Phoney Wars : New Zealand Society in the Second World War

ISBN: 9780947522230

Authors: Stevan Eldred-Grigg, Hugh Eldred-Grigg    Publisher: Otago University Press

Phoney Wars looks at the lives of New Zealanders during the greatest armed struggle the world has ever seen: the Second World War. It is not a political, economic or military history; rather it explores what life was like during the war years for ordinary people living under the New Zealand flag. It questions the war as a story of ‘good’ against ‘bad’. All readers know that the Axis powers behaved ruthlessly, but how many are aware of the brutality of the Allied powers in bombing and starving ‘enemy’ towns and cities? New Zealand colluded in and even carried out such brutal aggressions. Were we, in going to war, really on the side of the angels? Contrary to the propaganda of the time – and subsequent memory – going to war did not unite New Zealanders: it divided them, often bitterly. People disagreed over whether or not we should fight, what we were fighting for and why, who was fighting, who was paying, and who was dying. In this provocative and moving book, Stevan and Hugh Eldred-Grigg explore New Zealanders’ hopes and fears, beliefs and superstitions, shortages and affluence, rationing and greed, hysteria and humour, violence and kindness, malevolence and generosity, to argue that New Zealand need not have involved itself in the war at all.

Bind: paperback

Pages: 424

Dimensions: 170 x 240 mm

Publication Date: 13-10-2017

Availability Date: 20-10-2017

Tags: History   New Zealand

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