Building the New World: Work, Politics and Society in Caversham, 1880s–1920

Erik Olssen

‘Olssen's new book Building the New World is an outstanding contribution to New Zealand historiography and to our understanding of the origins of modern New Zealand society.’
– Brian Easton, New Zealand Listener

Building the New Word is a brilliant sequence of essays arising out of a major study of the Dunedin working-class suburb of Caversham at the turn of the century. Olssen discusses a number of important theoretical issues, focusing particularly on the writing of history, the question of class, the role of gender, the nature of work and the growth of the labour movement. Building the New World is an exciting and stimulating book, well-illustrated with black and white photographs and maps, and is essential reading for all those interested in New Zealand history.


Emeritus Professor Erik Olssen, ONZM, was Professor and head of the history department for many years at the University of Otago. He is the author of a number of important books on New Zealand social and political history including John A. Lee (University of Otago Press, 1977) and The Red Feds (Oxford University Press, 1988).

J. M. Sherrard Award in New Zealand Regional and Local History, 1997.


March 1995, 250 x 190 mm, 308 pages, illustrations
Paperback, ISBN 9781869401061