3 Jul 2013

Big World, Small Country

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 2:10 pm on 3 July 2013

In 1936 a New Zealand athlete had the opportunity to meet Adolf Hitler just as the Berlin Olympics were about to get underway. His name was Clarrie Gordon, a featherweight boxer from Auckland with a mean right hook. And he threw that right hook at the Fuhrer... in jest, admittedly. The punch fell just inches short of Hitler's face. That is one of many little known stories about New Zealanders, and how we find ourselves in history's tides and torrents, and near the great events of the world somehow. Big World, Small Country: The 20th Century & New Zealand's Place In It is a history textbook written by Northcote College head of social sciences, Graeme Ball.