The Nationbuilders

Auckland University Press. 2001. 318pp.

Who shaped the New Zealand nation in the middle years of the twentieth century: Whose were the ideas. the visions. the practical skills: The Nationbuilders is a collection of linked essays on individuals and companies in the years from 1931 to 1984 who contributed in major ways to building a New Zealand nation. They include well known individuals like W.B. Sutch and forgotten influences like Douglas Robb. The book captures the intertwining of the lives of politicians. their advisors and their mentors as well as the experiences which drove them.

While the focus is on the economic strategy of the times. Brian Easton also looks at the cultural. social. union. business and foreign policy strands in the nationbuilding project. The book finally explores what happened to nationbuilding in recent years and options for the future. An original lively and provocative book. it is backed by powerful nationalistic emotions and by a deep distaste at the kind of country that has been fashioned since 1984.

Essays which extend the general themes of “The Nationbuilders” and describe the book’s development (in order of writing).

Engineers and Nationbuilders
What Happened to the Nation Building Stale in New Zealand?
Writing The Nationbuilders
Building a Nation
Brian Easton Reviews The Nationbuilders
Nationbuilding and the Textured Society
Treasury and the Nationbuilding State
Singing Jerusalem in New Zealand
Science and Nationbuilding
Will You Look At That?

There are some other nationbuilders at the end


List of Illustrations

Harry: Harold Stewart Parnell Easton. 12-7-18 to 29-4-00
The (Economic) Life of Harry

The Political Economy of Robert Chapman
Towards A Political Economy of New Zealand: The Tectonics of History

I. Gordon Coates: 1878-1943

2. Bernard Ashwin: 1896-1975
Treasury Man: Bernard Carl Ashwin, Secretary to the Nation Building State
Bernard Ashwin: Secretary to the Nationbuilding State
Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

3. Peter Fraser: 1884-!950
Remembering Peter Fraser

4. James Fletcher: 1886-1974
Who’s Hugh

5. Fintan Patrick Walsh: !894-!963

6. Douglas Robb: 1899-1973

7. Bill Sutch: 1907-!950 (-!975)
Trying to Understand Dr Sutch
Dictionary of New Zealand Biography
Sutch and UNICEF
The Political Economy of Fish

8. Denis Glover: 1912-1980

9. Colin McCahon: 1919-!987

10. Dr Sutch: (1907-) !951-1975
Marshall and Sutch
Sutch and Security

11. Norm Kirk: 1923-!974

12. Sonja Davies: 1923-

13. Bryan Philpott: 1921-2000
The Model Economist
Curiouser and Curiouser

14. New Zealand Steel

15. Rob Muldoon: 1921-1995
His Way
Muldoon’s Mark
Two Economic Lieutenants

16. Henry Lang: 1919-1997
Regarding Henry


Envoy: Bruce Jesson 1944-1999
His Purpose is Clear: Reflecting a Life of Thought and Experience
Global Warning What would have Bruce Jesson have said about APEC?
Nationbuilding and the Textured Society (Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture. October 2001)

Notes and Bibliography

Some Other Nationbuilders

Bob Chapman: 1923-
The Political Economy of Robert Chapman

Elsie Locke: 1912-2001
Elsie Locke 1912-2001

Wolfgang Rosenberg
Review of New Zealand Can Be Different and Better
A Wolf in Lion’s Clothing

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