Wednesday, April 04, 2007

THE MYERS by Paul Goldsmith & Michael Bassett David Ling Publishers NZ$50

Although this thumping great handsome book covers four generations of the Myers family in New Zealand it is the second half of the book when Douglas Myers enters the scene that really captivated me.

The book has been written with Douglas Myer’s full co-operation but for all that there are no holds barred on the various family battles, the merger of Lion and L.D.Nathan, the Wine-Box affair, and the controversial takeover of Lion Breweries by Kirin of Japan where the directors of Lion Nathan were paid a higher price for their shares than other shareholders.
All these matters are dealt with in great detail and the pages are littered with names from the NBR Rich List. I found it totally riveting.

Both Goldsmith & Bassett are highly experienced historians and authors with Bassett also being a well-known political commentator and newspaper columnist. Not surprisingly then the book proves to be thoroughly researched and well written with some very interesting photos included, many from family albums.

There are more than 22 pages of end notes as well as a most detailed index. I am sure this book will become a valuable source of information for future historians studying New Zealand’s 20th century social history.

But for now it is a real insight into one of NZ's best known families and especially the somewhat increasingly reclusive Doug Myers.

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