Decades ago, when I was studying the philosophy of history post-grad under Prof. Peter Munz, he announced to the class that the biggest challenge facing anybody writing a book was sustaining the argument. It was, he warned, the hardest thing to do.
I still remember the lesson, along with the derision with which some of the other students greeted the announcement. After all, they knew best – their post-colonial ideology made them intellectually and morally superior examples of humanity and who was this fuddy-duddy old Professor anyway?
Most of them subsequently crashed and burned as far as book-writing was concerned, despite doors being flung wide for them by the post-colonial academic in-crowd who sat on the funds and opportunities available at the time in New Zealand, to the exclusion of anybody else.
The fact is, of course, that Munz knew what he was talking about – he was regarded as…
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