Penguin Books (N.Z.) Limited
For immediate release
10 May 2004
Is New Zealand going to hell in a handcart?
When a Maori academic predicted there would be ‘civil war’ if the Government’s seabed and foreshore legislation was
passed, author David Slack decided to find out just how gloomy the future for New Zealand really looked.
His research uncovered all sorts of claims being made about the decline and fall of our civilisation: from moral decay
undermining the nuclear family to economic or environmental ruin lying just around the corner.
Prostitution reform, civil unions and ‘gay marriage’, foreign ownership and immigration – “to believe the doomsayers
you’d think we were headed for hell in a handcart” says Slack.
In Civil War and Other Optimistic Predictions the author of the bestselling Bullshit, Backlash and Bleeding Hearts tests
the various doomsday scenarios put forward by vested interests: Will there be bloodshed on the beaches? Is the family
under threat from permissiveness and the ‘gay agenda’? Is New Zealand now little more than a foreign owned lifestyle
block in the South Pacific?
Penguin Books Commissioning Editor Finlay Macdonald says, “I’ve long thought that New Zealand suffers from a kind of
Cassandra complex – that we love to predict the worst and expect everything to go wrong.
“So when David came up with the idea of testing the validity of all those pessimistic predictions, it was like an idea
whose time had come.”
So could it all be true? Or might Kiwis be suffering from a bad case of Chicken Little syndrome, always worried that sky
is falling and therefore never able to enjoy the sun while it shines?
“It’s a kind of insecurity, and politicians in particular love to play on it,” says Macdonald.
“This election year we’re going to hear a lot about why the direction this country is heading is wrong and how only this
or that political party can save us,” he says.
“Reading this book is the ideal antidote to these claims.
“Civil War and other Optimistic Predictions is an accessible, provocative, lively, perceptive voice for thinking Kiwis
pondering the biggest question of all: where is New Zealand going?”
Civil War and Other Optimistic Predictions is available at all good bookstores from 11 May rrp $28.00
About David Slack
David Slack is the author of 2004’s bestseller Bullshit, Backlash & Bleeding Hearts, about the great race relations debate in NZ. He is a former parliamentary speechwriter and now
proprietor of the successful website speeches.com, who has worked in advertising and public relations, and is currently
a regular commentator on National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme.