Donald McLean. The hard-tempered Scot whose policies shaped New Zealand's colonial-age race relations, and gave rise to grievances that echo into the twenty-first century.
The government official who used his position to get land for his personal ventures – and provoked war between Maori along the way.
The man who, rumour insists, used his power as our Minister of Defence to order the shooting of his own illegitimate son – the right-hand man of terror leader Te Kooti.
McLean's role as the powerhouse behind some of the dodgiest land controversies of settler-era New Zealand is well known. But the man behind those deeds has remained largely hidden.
Man of Secrets, a new biography by Matthew Wright, delves into the man behind the public persona – the private Donald McLean. A man dogged by his upbringing, wrestling with his insecurities – a devout and fearful man who felt himself inadequate before God and who never recovered from the loss of his young wife.
'Matthew Wright is one of our most prolific social historians, an assiduous researcher and an engaging writer.'
Also available as an ebook.