New Zealand Working People, 1890-1990

‘Do working people have a history? Do they have a culture of their own? Or are they just a “bastard” class?’ These are some of the questions asked by this book, which is the most wide ranging history ever written about the working class of New Zealand. ‘Working people inherit a strong and distinctive culture of their own,’ the author concludes. ‘The world of working people is supple and informal, growing out of personal links. At its centre is the working class kitchen, a world dominated by women.’


Melanie Nolan: ‘Eldred-Grigg writes well and he can invoke atmosphere and give you a feeling for history, a rare talent. … People will react strongly to this book.’

Kerry Taylor: ‘this book moves beyond the focus of “traditional” labour history about organizations which claim to represent working people. Instead the working people themselves are at the centre of the picture.’



Dunmore Press, Palmerston North 1990

ISBN 0-86469-124-6