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Snapshots of the Century: 'Spectrum' covers 100 years of New Zealand History
Edited by Alwyn Own

The diverse experience of life in New Zealand this century can best be expressed through the words of the individuals who lived those lives.

In 1972 National Radio launched the SPECTRUM documentary series a series which now numbers over 1,000 programmes in which ordinary New Zealanders tell their extraordinary stories in oral histories dating back to the turn of the century. SNAPSHOTS OF THE CENTURY draws on this fascinating library to look back on some of the events and social trends of the 20th century that have shaped life in New Zealand. The stories featured include:
John A Lee on the road, Cohn Scrimgeour as a broadcaster, Jim Edwards and memories of his father in the Depression, Dan Bergin the whaler, Cliff and Sylvia Carrigan and their wartime love and many others.

This book is in many respects a family snapshot album the family being those who have lived in New Zealand during the 20th century. Like any family album, it lingers in portraying some events and omits others. But, above all, it is human in its depiction. Its subjects are seen not through the formal lens of the portrait photographer, but are captured in less formal manner by a snapshot camera.
From the dramatic to the everyday, these personal viewpoints of history make compelling reading, and humanise many of the events which have shaped this century from the Boer War, through the Great Depression, to the social conditions of contemporary New Zealand.

Paperback, 1st edition 1998, very good condition,


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  • Seller location: North Shore, Auckland, NZ

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