History

Here you will find all our history books; from Military, Biography, Personal History, Politics and More.

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Voices of World War II-Flexibound

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New Zealanders Share Their Stories


In this collection of memories sent in by families across New Zealand, you will find a rare insight into wartime life across generations and vocations. Fascinating and genuine, it is both a tribute to the resilience and bravery of those who served in WWII, and a historical account which will teach younger generations about the lives of their ancestors.

Descriptions are given by a solider lying in his tent, hearing bombs land close by; young school children explain what it was like to have bomb shelter practices at school; a Land Girl meets the farmer she would work with for the first time.

This book is a visually captivating compendium of photographs and written accounts, it provides a snapshot of what life was like during WWII, from the point of view of those who lived through it.


SPECIFICATIONS 280mm x 210mm | Flexi-Bound| Illustrated | 296 pages

The Road to Gondwana

USD $27.99 Tax Included USD $19.59 Tax Included

Out now in Australia & New Zealand (Coming to the US and UK in March 2023)


The Road to Gondwana takes the reader on a journey in search of the lost southern supercontinent. It traces the steps science took to find Gondwana, and the journey Gondwana itself took through 500 million years of Earth history. Our tour guide on this journey is Glossopteris, — an extinct tree that dominated the supercontinent for 50 million years, before vanishing in the most devastating event ever to strike life on this planet, the Permian mass extinction.

Read a sample from The Road to Gondwana


“It is a scholarly and persuasive work, dazzling in its detail, but immensely entertaining and intriguing “


SPECIFICATIONS:   Hardback | 229 x 152 mm  | 272 Pages | 9781922539335

Jørn’s Magnificent Imagination

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Celebrating new ideas that can make a world of difference, Jørn’s Magnificent Imagination is the true story of Jørn Utzon, the architect of the world-renowned Sydney Opera House. In this gorgeously illustrated book, we follow Jørn through his life as he discovers his love of building and creating, gathering ideas from everything around himself.
Along the way, young readers will be reminded of the importance of taking the time to dream and create, and of the incredible power of the imagination.

Click here to view Teacher’s Notes.


SPECIFICATIONS:  245mm x 255mm | Hardback | 32 Pages | Full Colour | EK Books

Eight Hundred Heroes: China’s Lost Battalion and the Fall of Shanghai

USD $35.99 Tax Included USD $25.19 Tax Included

Also available in eBook


From acclaimed historian Stephen Robinson comes an account of a battle which has taken on mythic dimensions in Chinese and international military history. From 26th October to 1st November 1937, the ‘800 Heroes’ defended Sihang Warehouse from wave after wave of Japanese assaults. This is the exciting story of the Battle of Sihang Warehouse told as never before, bringing together Chinese and western accounts for the first time to create a thorough and compelling depiction of the legendary battle.


SPECIFICATIONS:   Hardback | 234 x 151 mm  | 304 Pages | B & W Photographs & Maps

The Blind Strategist

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John Boyd and the American Art of War

Colonel John Boyd, a maverick fighter pilot, revolutionized the American art of war but his research relied on accounts written by Wehrmacht veterans who fabricated historical evidence to cover up their participation in Nazi war crimes. The Blind Strategist separates fact from fantasy and exposes the myths of maneuver warfare through a detailed evidence-based investigation and is a must-read for anybody interested in American military history.


Also available in eBook


Specifications:  Cover and Jacket | 234 x 151mm/9.25 x 6 in | 360 pages 

Guiding Lights

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Click here for Audiobook | eBook


The Extraordinary Lives of Lighthouse Women

Women have a long history of keeping the lights burning, from tending ancient altar flames or bonfires to modern-day lighthouse keeping. Yet most of their stories are little known. Guiding Lights includes stories from around the world spanning two millennia, as we discover the physical and mental risks of isolation, the heroism of the female keepers, how they came to be hired (especially in the 19th century), and the mysteries and legends that are inextricably part of lighthouse history.

Specifications: 9781925820621 | Cased & Jacket | 229 x 152mm / 9 x 6in | 256 pages

Today in New Zealand History (Paperback)

From the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Alexander Turnbull Library, this glorious, fully illustrated discovery of New Zealand’s key times brings history to life. The 3rd edition, now in paperback! Each day of the year features a story ranging from the nation-forming to the quirky. A timeline lists key events that have shaped the course of New Zealand’s political and constitutional development, while Born on this Day boxes scattered throughout provide details on around 100 figures of significance to New Zealand history.

SPECIFICATIONS: Paperback| 280 x 210 mm | Approximately 500 Colour Photographs | 304 Pages |

First Among Equals (2nd Edition)

USD $14.99 Tax Included USD $10.49 Tax Included

Australia’s prime ministers from Barton to Morrison

Since Federation in 1901, 29 men and one woman have served in the position of Australian prime minister. Some have had the position thrust upon them. Some have plotted and schemed their way to the top. Four have served more than once. Three have died in office. Eight have been unceremoniously dumped by their own party.

Revised and updated to include Scott Morrison, this new edition tells the story of each of these prime ministers, setting their actions in the context of their time.

SPECIFICATIONS: 9781925820485 | Paperback | 210 x 135mm | 208 Pages

False Flags (paperback edition)

Disguised German raiders of World War II

Now available in paperback, False Flags tells the epic story of German raider voyages to the South Seas during the early years of World War II. In 1940 the raiders Orion, Komet, Pinguin and Kormoran left Germany and waged a ‘pirate war’ across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans as well as the Arctic and Antarctic, as part of Germany’s strategy to attack the British Empire’s maritime trade on a global scale. Their extraordinary voyages are maritime sagas in the finest tradition of seafaring.

SPECIFICATIONS: 9781925335804 | Paperback | 234 x 151 mm / 9.21 x 5.94 inches | 320 Pages

Going by Train

The Complete New Zealand Railways Story

Railways played a pivotal part in the development of New Zealand’s economy, towns and cities, and helped shape a distinctive culture. This is a comprehensive account of our railways story, from the earliest days of the colony, through rail’s growth and golden days, slow decline and recent resurgence. Fully illustrated, and written in a very readable style, rail fans and general readers alike will enjoy its wide-ranging topics, generous illustrations, anecdotes and personal accounts.

SPECIFICATIONS: 9781775593553 |Cover & Jacket | 260 x 183 mm / 10.25 x 7.25 inches | 312 Pages | Colour

Finding True Connections

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How to Learn and Write About a Family Member’s History

Our individual memories define us. Our tribal memories unite us. Emotional Inheritance works with psychologists, writers and historians to provide a premium interview and life story production service. Now, Finding True Connections clearly and simply sets out how you can undertake this process yourself, without an external interviewer. Designed as a series of double-page spreads, on the left-hand page is a prompt question, while opposite are notes on how to gain the most meaningful answers, to do yourself or to discover more about a family member.

SPECIFICATIONS: 9781925820157| Hardback | 235 x 191 / 9.25 x 7.5 inches | 232 pages

 

 Emotional Inheritance

Emotional Inheritance is a new imprint from Exisle Publishing. Capturing the wisdom of the past to enhance our future. Find out more at EmotionalInheritance.org

 

 

Wake of the Invercauld

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NZ Customers Special Sale (Limited Time Offer as shown)

Shipwrecked in the sub-Antarctic: A great-granddaughter’s pilgrimage

This is the story of Robert Holding, a young English adventurer who was only 23 when he was shipwrecked with 19 others on the Auckland Islands in the sub-Antarctic Ocean in 1864. A year later he was rescued, along with only two of his shipmates. The others had perished from starvation and exposure.

It was when Madelene Ferguson Allen was researching the history of her birth family that she discovered she was Holding’s great-granddaughter. Then she learned of the existence of his account of the shipwreck and his enforced stay on the Aucklands, so she decided to retrace his footsteps. This book is an account of her journey, not only tracing the voyage of the Invercauld, but also the life of Robert Holding. Allen intersperses her narrative with extracts from Holding’s own journal, revealing an extraordinary tale of survival, in which conflict, cannibalism and cunning all play a part. The survivors’ rescue is in itself a hair-raising tale of intrigue and deception.

Wake of the Invercauld is a gripping story that will enthral anyone interested in true adventure at sea.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback | 260 x 186 mm | 10.2 x 7.3 inches | Colour | 256 Pages

Arawata Bill

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The Story of Legendary Gold Prospector William James O’Leary

Arawata Bill (1865–1947) was a pioneering folk hero. He spent decades in the unforgiving mountain country of New Zealand’s South Island, prospecting for gold and other minerals and making new tracks in unexplored areas. His astonishing feats of endurance and tenacity, coupled with his charming eccentricity, have captured the imagination of generations, and Denis Glover immortalised him in his famous poem, ‘Arawata Bill’. Recently, a Californian Country Rock act have added his story to their ballads. This new edition of Ian Dougherty’s landmark biography includes information about O’Leary’s life that has only recently come to light.

‘If you like the mystery of hidden gold and stories of a pioneering hero, set amidst the awe-inspiring grandeur of South Westland, you’ll like this book. The cost won’t damage your pocket too much and it’ll do your heart good.’ New Zealand Wilderness

Specifications: 9781927147535 | Paperback | 210 x 148mm / 8.3 x 5.8in | 196 pages

Godley

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The Man Behind the Myth

A comprehensive biography of General Sir Alexander Godley, presenting for the first time a fair and balanced look at his time as commander of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) and II ANZAC Corps during World War I. While Godley is generally remembered as being a poor field commander, Terry Kinloch argues that he was in fact a capable one who had little or no ability to influence the failed battles at Gallipoli and Passchendaele that he is often seen as responsible for. Kinloch also presents, for the first time, a detailed account of Godley’s long pre- and post-World War I career in the British Army. After the war Godley returned to the British Army, eventually reaching the rank of general before retiring in 1933. During his 48-year military career, he also served on operations in Rhodesia and South Africa, as a mounted infantry instructor, in the post-war British occupation force in Germany, and as the Governor of Gibraltar.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback | 240 x 160 mm | 9.5 x 6.25 inches| 328 Pages

Trial of Strength

USD $29.99 Tax Included USD $20.99 Tax Included

Adventures and misadventures on the wild and remote subantarctic islands

The subantarctic islands circle the lower part of the globe below New Zealand, Australia, Africa and South America in the ‘Roaring Forties’ and ‘Furious Fifties’ latitudes. They are filled with unique plants and wildlife, constantly buffeted by lashing rain and furious gales, and have a rich and fascinating human history. Trial of Strength tells the compelling stories of these islands and will leave you with an appreciation for the tenacity of the human race and the forbidding forces of nature.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback | 260 x 186 mm / 10.25 x 7.25 Inches  | Colour | 264 Pages

World War Two at Sea

Conflict on the Oceans – 1939 to 1945

During the Second World War, battles raged not just on land and in the air but on the sea, and whichever side triumphed at sea would have an essential advantage; naval success was a crucial preliminary to the air and land campaigns that would lead to final victory.

This spectacular retelling of the naval history of WWII covers everything from submarine warfare in the Atlantic to major operations in the Pacific. With fascinating archive photographs and detailed information about significant operations, alongside some of the lesser-known aspects of the conflict, World War Two at Sea brings to life the ferocity of naval warfare.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardback | 220 x 250 mm | Colour | 208 Pages |