Ruth, Roger and Me

Ruth, Roger and Me

Debts and Legacies

‘Your words of “discomfort, loss, and disconnection” don’t resonate with me at all.’ Ruth Richardson to Andrew Dean, 16 December 2014.

A time of major upheaval now stands between young and old in New Zealand. In Ruth, Roger and Me, Andrew Dean explores the lives of the generation of young people brought up in the shadow of the economic reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, those whom he calls ‘the children of the Mother of All Budgets’. Drawing together memoir, history and interviews, he explores the experiences of ‘discomfort’ and ‘disconnection’ in modern Aotearoa New Zealand.

‘Andrew Dean reveals what life is like for many New Zealanders who grew up in the shadow of Douglas and Richardson's reforms. This is a refreshing and important contribution to the national conversation.’ Morgan Godfery

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Print publication:
Ebook publication: Apr 2015
Pages: 124
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9780908321216
ISTC: A0220150000000E8
DOI: 10.7810/9780908321216

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'Andrew Dean: For the Left, more of the same won't cut it', Andrew Dean, Stuff, 7 July 2017.

'Longing for a World Yet to Come: Nostalgia in Contemporary Politics', Andrew Dean, Pantograph Punch, 24 May 2017.

Tilly Lloyd reviews Ruth, Roger and Me, Kathryn Ryan, Nine to Noon, Radio New Zealand, 26 June 2015

'Andrew Dean: The Best Books I Never Wrote', Andrew Dean,, 25 June 2015

'Inter-generations battle bizarre', Karl du Fresne, Nelson Mail, 16 June 2015

'Rogered and Ruthanised', Chris Moore, New Zealand Listener, 4 June 2015

'Bernard's Top 10: "Roger, Ruth and Me"', Bernard Hickey,, 27 May 2015

Jessica Mutch interviews Andrew Dean on Q&A, ONE News, 24 May 2015

'Student loan generation becoming "disconnected" from NZ', Andrew Dean on Q&A, ONE News

Andrew on Q&A's Facebook page

'Not so jolly: Ruth, Roger and Me by Andrew Dean', book review, Morgan Godfery, Dominion Post, Your Weekend

'The kids aren’t alright', Newstalk ZB, Opinion, James Robbins, 8 May 2015

Andrew Dean talks about debts and legacies with Wallace Chapman, Sunday Morning, Radio NZ National

‘Andrew Dean is a man with the voice of a generation’, Rob Stock, Sunday Star Times

‘New book looks at impact of reforms’, Ashburton Guardian

Andrew Dean speaks for a generation born after Rogernomics’, Philip Matthews, The Press

'Reality show symptom of property market problems', op-ed by Andrew Dean, Otago Daily Times


Regardless of what your own brand of politics might be, Ruth, Roger and Me is one of those books that makes you really want to meet the author and have a yarn over coffee, confident you will come away having learnt something and richer for the experience. Ed. Collective, 18 January 2016

Dean has no easy answers, but his brief discussion is a starting point. Alister Browne,, 3 July 2015

I think that @andrewhdean's short book, 'Ruth, Roger and Me' might just be the best book I have read about NZ politics, ever. Bronwyn Hayward, Twitter

In keeping with Dean’s stressed and financially strained generation, the book is short, easy to read and can be purchased for $15. Emma Hurley, Salient, 1 June 2015

Part discourse, part argument and part memoir, Dean’s account of the new ‘freedoms’ that have created huge and narrow gains for a few and large and wide-ranging losses for society as a whole is not a polemical tract: its questions and commentaries are rational, temperate and troubled, and all the more engrossing and devastating for being so. Kevin Ireland, New Zealand Studies Network

Dean presents a lucid and lyrical account of the empirical effects of the neoliberal revolution … the book is part memoir, part polemic and part reportage … Dean brings an acute sense of how the world is and how it ought to be, of what we have lost and what we might gain … Our impoverished public sphere needs more writers like Dean (and more publishers like Bridget Williams Books) … This is not to say Ruth, Roger and Me is a neatly written piece of didactic moralising, instead it's an impressive challenge to the self-congratulatory moral rhetoric of people like Ruth Richardson who insist ‘freedom’ can only mean an economic choice. Morgan Godfery, Dominion Post

Dean raises some worthwhile points: housing, super, and student loans are all putting the squeeze on the young. That doesn’t mean many people didn’t have it hard a generation ago, or that many don’t have it good today. Nonetheless he’s addressing important trends, good on him. ACT Party Free Press, 11 May 2015