A multi-disciplinary work encompassing history, marine science, archaeology and visual culture, New Zealand and the Sea explores New Zealand’s varied relationship with the sea, challenging the conventional view that history unfolds on land. Leading and emerging scholars highlight the dynamic, ocean-centred history of these islands and their inhabitants, offering fascinating new perspectives on New Zealand’s pasts.
‘The ocean has profoundly shaped culture across this narrow archipelago . . . The meeting of land and sea is central in historical accounts of Polynesian discovery and colonisation; European exploratory voyaging; sealing, whaling and the littoral communities that supported these plural occupations; and the mass migrant passage from Britain.’ – Frances Steel
For the first four months of 1942, U.S., Filipino, and Japanese soldiers fought what was America's first major land battle of World War II, the battle for the tiny Philippine peninsula of Bataan. It ended with the surrender of 76,000 Filipinos and Americans, the single largest defeat in American military history.
The defeat, though, was only the beginning, as Michael and Elizabeth M. Norman make dramatically clear in this powerfully original book. From then until the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, the prisoners of war suffered an ordeal of unparalleled cruelty and savagery: forty-one months of captivity, starvation rations, dehydration, hard labor, deadly disease, and torture—far from the machinations of General Douglas MacArthur.
The Normans bring to the story remarkable feats of reportage and literary empathy. Their protagonist, Ben Steele, is a figure out of Hemingway: a young cowboy turned sketch artist from Montana who joined the army to see the world. Juxtaposed against Steele's story and the sobering tale of the Death March and its aftermath is the story of a number of Japanese soldiers.