The Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture 2001.
This is a revised version of the paper presented on Tuesday 23 October.
Keywords: History of Ideas, Methodology & Philosophy; Labour Studies; Political Economy & History
I did not know Bruce Jesson as well as many of you in the audience, although I may have known him longer, for we went to the same high school. Bruce was in my younger brother’s class, so I only just knew him then. While I have a memory of him gawky in the dreary school gray, it may be this is re-created because we all looked awkward in the uniform, so it is easy to imagine with hindsight. We did not overlap at university, but I recall being stunned by the occasion in 1966 when Bruce and some friends burnt a Union Jack in front of the governor-general, asking why we were upset about damaging a foreign flag, We were already refusing to stand up in the cinema for ‘God Save the Queen’, but that protest lifted the level of analysis, challenging us to think more deeply about what being a New Zealander really meant. However, it was not really until the 1970s I began to link with Bruce, first by reading his wonderful journal, The Republican , and later visiting him in Auckland.