Wishart’s new treaty book rockets up bestseller lists

Ian Wishart’s new book on the Treaty of Waitangi, The Great Divide, has rocketed up the bestseller lists to become the top-selling NZ non fiction title within 72 hours of release.

The Great Divide: The Story of New Zealand & Its Treaty, currently sits at #2 on the overall non-fiction bestsellers list for top online retailer Mighty Ape, and is the #1 placed NZ non-fiction title, ahead of comedian Rhys Darby’s This Way to the Spaceship.

The book is also being positively reviewed by both Maori and Pakeha commentators.

Journalist Mike Butler for the NZ Centre for Political Research describes The Great Divide as “… a page-turner that tells the story of pre-Maori history, of explorers who met a sudden death, of brave missionaries, musket wars, of the beginnings of British rule, the ins and outs of the treaty, land clashes, sovereignty wars, of the role of Christianity, and implications for today. His chatty, colloquial style could and should keep a wide range of readers on the edge of a chair…the book is a must-read.”

Newstalk ZB’s Leighton Smith told his listeners The Great Divide is “a worthwhile investment for all of us”,

Bruce Moon, a contributor to John Ansell’s website, writes:

“When I opened The Great Divide I found it moderate in style, clear in expression and thorough in discussion.

“I noted with interest his references to Michael King’s hitherto lauded Penguin History of New Zealand. Wishart confronts King. Clearly we agree that King was a member of the ‘politically correct brigade’ (though Wishart does not say so in as many words.)

“Wishart…most importantly in my view, gives thorough attention to the Kohimarama Conference of 1860 which has been so notably discounted by Orange and Salmond. In Ian Wishart’s words, ‘What we see at Kohimarama…is an evolution of consent. After 20 years of partial integration, the chiefs not only ratified Waitangi in full but expressly called for a complete adoption of Pakeha tikanga’.

“…There can be simply no doubt that The Great Divide must find a place…on the bookshelves of every educated New Zealander. In short – read it.”

“Ian Wishart’s new book is excellent, easy and informative reading… based on documentary evidence.  Good reading. Roger Bailey, SunLive

In the TradeMe forums, where debate has been running hot since news of the title broke, one staunch Maori woman gave the book a ringing endorsement despite being initially highly skeptical, saying “the book was a great read.Certainly thought provoking. I enjoyed it and am still processing it in my mind….Lots of good information that I didnt know.  I found that it was very fair and balanced. I find myself still thinking my way through the chapters and putting things into perspective which for me is a good book. I am a fan of Dr.Claudia Orange,and I did tell Annette Sykes about the book last night.”

Prolific Wellington-based commentator Phil Hayward says, ““The Great Divide” is the book that somebody had to write.”

The Great Divide by Ian Wishart goes onsale in Whitcoulls stores across the country tomorrow.