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Disastrous Ventures


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In his new book Hans Ohff has cast a detailed and forensic light onto the early exploitation of East New Guinea by German and British-Australian interests. His analysis of the successes and failures of both colonial powers provides the foundation for rethinking the future of Australia's nearest neighbour. Kim Beazley, AC Governor of Western AustraliaHans Ohff tells the story of the division of east New Guinea between Britain and Germany during the frantic scramble for colonies by European nations in the late 19th century and explains the differing paths of development followed by German and British New Guinea in the years up to 1914. In this captivating book the author conflates a strongly empirical analysis of economic activities with delightfully portrayed personalities. Peter Yule, University of MelbourneA meticulous piece of scholarly economic history of a kind that is rare these days but of inestimable value. Peter Hempenstall, Emeritus Professor University of CanterburyIn this detailed business history the author demonstrates that the raising of share capital by colonial enterprises did not differ markedly from the capital structures of the mining start-ups nearly 150 years later. Adele Ferguson, The Sydney Morning HeraldThe author has painstakingly researched the early colonial past of Australia's nearest neighbour. Hans Ohff has written a book that deserves to be in the libraries of all interested in the history of Papua New Guinea. Anthony Griffiths, Cambridge University

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