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The Ideal Society and Its Enemies: Foundations of Modern New Zealand Society, 1850-1900
By Miles Fairburn

A challenging and provocative study of the nature of settler society in nineteenth-century New Zealand. Fairburn focuses attention for the first time on the lives of the common people and presents a rigorous and original description which profoundly criticizes the view of previous historians. A book about perceptions as well as realities, it describes the settlers' own beliefs that they lived in an ideal society brimming with natural resources and with only minimal social organization. Rejecting the modern analyses, this revises and adjusts the settlers' views to show a society facing severe problems. Fairburn argues that in the process by which the settlers coped with these problems and adapted social beliefs and attitudes to handle them, the foundations of modern New Zealand society were laid.

Paperback, first edition 1989, 316pages, very good condiiton
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