I can’t help thinking that the western world (at least) is approaching a general social crisis. Perhaps even rolling to the end of one of its grand historical cycles. When I say ‘social crisis’, I don’t mean anything pre-destined or inevitable. Nor are grand historical cycles automatic. The way I see it is this. Societies … More The coming general social crisis of the twenty first century
There was a time when the apocalypse seemed close. The climate was changing. It was a time of unprecedented storms, when crops failed and the people went hungry. Governments fell before an unprecedented wave of popular change. A mercenary army roamed the lands in the name of religious zeal, destroying all before it and seizing … More When the apocalypse loomed
It’s kind of hard to imagine these days, but way back in the nineteenth century New Zealand had gone all American. It wasn’t just the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ look of the colonial towns with their limed streets, hitching posts and detritus of recent construction scattered around clap-board fronted buildings. It was also in … More When New Zealand went all American
OMG! It’s a hundred years old today. That’s right – it’s exactly a century since Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Arbuthnot Fisher – Lord Fisher, First Baron Fisher of Kilverstone – coined the acronym we all know and love. He came up with OMG (“Oh! My God!”) in a letter of 9 September 1917 … More OMG, it’s the centenary of OMG!
Full beards are in these days, it seems. Especially for those twenty-somethings who cycle past on their designer bikes, sipping designer coffee in a designer take-away cup with one hand while steering with the other. This is the hip way of the future; urbanised, up to the minute, millennial, mobile-enabled. And bearded, if you happen … More Let’s beard like it’s 1849
Announcing The History of Hawke’s Bay. My latest book. Out today. It’s an all new volume about my home district’s past – 260 pages in large format, with over 120 photographs and maps covering the full sweep of the region’s past, from its geological origins through to its Maori history, the rumbustious cowboy world of … More The history of Hawke’s Bay
I’ve been writing fairly regularly, of late, for a US website, Navy General Board. It’s dedicated – as you might expect – to naval matters, a field I’ve been interested in for many years, largely because of people such as Admiral Sir John Fisher (1841-1919), inventor of the phrase ‘OMG’ – and also because of … More A glimpse into naval history