First published in 1999, with an introduction by the late Michael King, The Musket Wars established Ron Crosby's reputation as a daring, original chronicler of New Zealand history. This best-selling history provides the first comprehensive account of the wars that ravaged the country in the early 1800s, when iwi with newly acquired muskets unleashed terrible utu (revenge) on foes, helped by other introductions like potatoes that fuelled long-range taua (war parties). Ron Crosby weaves the strands of this conflict into an immensely readable narrative, guiding the reader through its complexities with lists of protagonists, a chronology, indexes and above all, superb maps and illustrations. This volume updates the revised 2001 edition, with improved scans of many images.
R.D. (Ron) Crosby was born and brought up in Auckland but has spent most of his adult life in Blenheim, where he was a partner in the law firm Gascoigne Wicks, specialising in resource management and iwi claims in the northern South Island. Now working as a barrister and author, Ron was appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal in 2011. Among his other works are Gilbert Mair: Te Kooti's Nemesis and NZSAS: The First Fifty Years.
Contents List of Maps 7 Introduction by Michael King 9 Preface 13 Prologue 17 Acknowledgements 27 Chronology 29 Protagonists 35 1. 1806-17 The First Sparks 45 2. 1818 Ngapuhi Power Unleashed - Hongi Hika and Te Morenga 56 3. 1819 The Flames of War Move South 59 4. 1820 The Conflagration Spreads 69 5. 1821 A Year of Reckoning 81 6. 1822 Devastation Continues 106 7. 1823 Terrible Revenge and Sublime Salvation 120 8. 1824 Setting the Scene in the South 136 9. 1825 The Ravages of Ultimate Power 154 10. 1826 The Year of Change - the Swing of the Ngapuhi Pendulum 162 11. 1827 The Spread of Musket Power 174 12. 1828 Ngati Maru Strike Out 186 13. 1829 Focus on Te Waipounamu 200 14. 1830 Nadir for Ngati Maru 213 15. 1831-32 Two Famous Sieges - Kaiapoi and Pukerangiora 230 16. 1832 A Year of Turmoil 249 17. 1833 A Calming of the Storm 262 18. 1834 The Pendulum in Balance 275 19. 1835 The Musket Moves Offshore 292 20. 1836 The Outbreak of the Last Major War 302 21. 1837 A Year of Positioning 322 22. 1838 A Flickering of the Flames 328 23. 1839 Warfare Flares Again 337 24. 1840 A Momentous Year 347 25. 1841-45 War Flames Extinguished 357Appendix A Firearms of the Musket Wars 367 Appendix B Logistics and Tactics 373 Glossary 378 Bibliography 379 Further Sources 385 Index 393
PRAISE FOR THE MUSKET WARS; 'Most of the stories and events are not new to students of New Zealand history but they have seldom been so usefully arranged and ordered. They are accompanied by excellent maps and illustrations, which adds to the book's value as a reference source... The Musket Wars must rate as one of the most accessible and well-presented treatments of New Zealand history currently available.' Sir Tipene O'Regan, Dominion; 'The soundness of Crosby's scholarship is one reason The Musket Wars succeeds, but it's his infectious enthusiasm for his subject which makes the book such a gripping read... One of the must-reads of 1999.' Iain Sharp, Sunday Star-Times; 'This is a valuable and attractive addition to any New Zealand book collection.' Bryan Gilling, NZ Education Review; 'The Musket Wars were an ugly blot on New Zealand history. The fact that they have been largely ignored by historians is an even larger blot on historiography. Crosby should be honoured for redressing this historical imbalance.' Graeme Hunt, National Business Review; 'Crosby's book is both intriguing and absorbing to the point of brilliance and gives new insights into both the ability of the Maori to adapt quickly and their impressive skills of innovation.' Jim Hunter, The Southland Times; 'A necessary addition to all collections of New Zealand history.' Diana Masters, Waikato Daily Times This is a prodigious work of research as well as a brilliantly written tale of heroes, bloody battles and tenacity the like of which the world will never see again... It should rank among the most important works of New Zealand history of this century. It is also a thoroughly good read.' Tom O'Connor, Marlborough Express; 'It represents an important compilation of material about a crucial period of New Zealand history which is often overlooked, yet which is of huge importance to Treaty of Waitangi claims.' Jim Eagles, Hawke's Bay Today
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