On Thursday the 9th of May, Wellington’s progressive and literary communities converged at Unity Books for the launch of White-Collar Radical: Dan Long and the Rise of White-Collar Unions, by Mark Derby. The night was dark but the mood was light as a large crowd of eager readers awaited Mark’s latest contribution to New Zealand’s social history.
Anticipation ran high as Robbie Burton from Craig Potton Publishing began the evening with an introduction to Mark’s work and the process which brought the book to fruition. His observations on the contributions of unionism and progressive politics to New Zealand’s development were echoed by Nicky Hager, who went on to describe the richness of the era which Mark’s book describes and the ways its subjects’ dedication and courage have changed the world.
Mark Derby was last to speak, reading from the book and sharing the stories of those protagonists who were still with us that night to draw out the continuing relevance of Dan Long and his contemporaries’ struggle for a fairer society. It is always a joy to see so much support for New Zealand publishing and a great night was had by all. Mark signed many copies of White-Collar Radical for happy readers and signed copies are still available in store for $40. Big thanks to Craig Potton Publishing for having us host the launch.