Author(s): Ben Schrader
The pursuit of city life is one of the most important untold stories of New Zealand. The Big Smoke is the first comprehensive history to tell this story, presenting a dynamic and highly illustrated account of city life from 1840 to 1920.It explores such questions as: what did cities look like and how did they change; why were women especially drawn to live in cities; in what ways did Maori experience and shape cities; how far was the street a living room and stage for city life; and why did New Zealand so quickly became a nation of townspeople?At a time of national debate over housing and the growth of our cities, Ben Schrader's superb new history reveals how our urban origins have shaped the people we are today.
Royal Society Te Apārangi Award for General Non-Fiction Finalist - Ockham New Zealand Book Awards 2017.
Ben Schrader is a Wellington historian specialising in urban history and historic preservation. He was Senior Researcher of the award-winning New Zealand Historical Atlas (1997) and has written extensively for Te Ara, the online encyclopedia of New Zealand, for which he co-edited the City and Economy theme. His last book was We Call it Home: A History of State Housing in New Zealand (2005), a finalist in the 2006 Montana Book Awards.