Forty-six diverse, absorbing stories which reveal the often forgotten colour and vibrancy of our country's past. Who really did discover New Zealand? Who were the real villains at Parihaka? Have we written timid explorer Abel Tasman out of our history books? What became of the threat of Russian invasion in the 1880s? Why did so many Kiwi lads die in the deep grey mud at Passchendaele? The true story behind the massacre of Japanese prisoners-of-war in the Wairarapa prison camp. This great collection of tales explores these and many more questions and issues which have fascinated New Zealanders and filled many a page in many a history book over the years. Gordon McLauchlan, a master storyteller who recognises a good yarn when he sees it, brings a fresh perspective on some old and often vexed periods in New Zealand's history.