I Shall Not Die

I Shall Not Die

Titokowaru’s War, 1868–1869

Leading historian James Belich presents Titokowaru, a Taranaki chief in the 1860s, as one of the great figures of New Zealand history. A leader in peace and war, he ran a stunning military campaign against colonial forces as he sought to save his people and their lands from European invasion.

In a powerfully written, compelling book, Belich restores the image of a man who, after winning numerous victories and almost repelling colonial forces in 1868–69, was then ‘forgotten by Pākehā as a child forgets a nightmare’. A new introduction by Belich brings his 1989 work up to date.

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Table of contents

1. Titokowaru’s peace
2. The year of the daughters
3. ‘I shall not die’
4. The Patea Field Force
5. The death of Kane
6. McDonnell’s revenge
7. The beak
8. The little tyrant
9. The battle of Moturoa
10. Handley’s woolshed
11. The brink
12. Tauranga Ika
13. The lion at bay
14. The hunt

Epilogue: The last battle

Print publication:
Ebook publication: Dec 2015
Pages: 328
RRP: $39.99
ISBN: 9781877242496
ISTC: A022012000021170
DOI: 10.7810/9781877242496

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Read Alan Ward's review in New Zealand Books.

'Belich tells a truly terrible, truly epic story. Titokowaru strides through his pages like a tragic figure from Greek drama.' Maurice Shadbolt

'...a riveting piece of historical writing... Its sweep and its humanity combine to make it ... a classic of its kind.' Michael King, Metro, 1989

'This is a magnificent book, read either as history or as novel, and it proclaims yet another Maori leader, like Te Puea and Rua Kenana, whom recent historicans have forced us Pakeha to recognise as great New Zealanders.' Jock Philips, Dominion Sunday Times, 1989


Adam Award 1990 (1st edition)