A Great New Zealand Prime Minister?: Reappraising William Ferguson Massey
'Massey's Cossacks' - citizens called in to help break the 1913 General Strike - have long been cited as just one of the sins of William Ferguson ... Show synopsis 'Massey's Cossacks' - citizens called in to help break the 1913 General Strike - have long been cited as just one of the sins of William Ferguson Massey. One of New Zealand's longest-serving Prime Ministers, his political legacy has not always been treated kindly. However, recent work by historians suggests that a reappraisal of Bill Massey - which this book provides - is overdue. It is clear, a century later, that Massey was Prime Minister at a particularly turbulent time in its history. Erik Olssen's opening essay reviews changes in his assessment of Massey over almost five decades. After initially imbibing the established Labour Party view of the man as thoroughly reactionary and anti-democratic, he came to understand that there was much about Massey's personality and career that contradicted that portrayal. The following chapters examine aspects of Massey's life and leadership in chronological order - from his experience as a teenage immigrant from Ulster through to his part in the Versailles Peace Conference and the tough campaign in 1923, less than two years before his death, for Imperial Preference, which led to his becoming involved in British politics in an attempt to secure the market for New Zealand products.