Whitiki! Whiti! Whiti! E!: Māori in the First World War by Monty Soutar (Bateman Books, 2019), 576 pp., $69.99
He pukapuka tino nui tēnei. This is a very big book. Nearly 600 pages, a weight of 3kg and measurements of 286 x 210mm. You would need a lectern to hold it up for sustained periods of reading! The rest of the time it relaxes well on any coffee table.
He pukapuka tino pai tēnei. This is a very good book. Well presented, with dozens of maps and diagrams and hundreds of photographs, including many of the servicemen involved, a generous quotient of whom were Pasifika volunteers. It is also important to note that several toa wāhine volunteered to fight and were not happy about being declined. As Soutar says, ‘Given the Māori tradition that women accompanied their men to war, it was not surprising that women showed disdain for the military’s enlistment criteria’ (47). [Read more…]