Book review: Selling the Dream

An astounding and aesthetically gobsmacking effort.

Selling the Dream
Peter Alsop, Gary Stewart & Dave Bamford (Craig Potton Publishing, 2012) $79.99

book review: selling the dream by peter alsopIt’s probably no surprise – and no coincidence – that the two heaviest books released on the market last year both came from Craig Potton Publishing.

Selling the Dream is a hefty tome and not one you’d want to take on your daily commute, but it’s beaten in the weight stakes by stablemate Shelter from the Storm, a Craig Potton history of New Zealand huts, which, at 2.72kg, beats this by a mere 200g.

At 408 pages and with nearly 1,000 images and 11 commissioned research essays, it’s an astounding and aesthetically gobsmacking effort.

The book centres around old tourism posters and publicity used to promote New Zealand as a tourist destination. We’re talking pre-television, so this sort of art was the stuff advertising and travel porn was made of. And travel porn it certainly is: there are some impeccable examples of the finest graphic art ever produced in this country.

And in spite of its weight, the company offers free postage within New Zealand and a 10 percent online discount. Go to for this year’s ultimate Chrissy present for the designer, ad lover, social history buff, heritage boffin or general smarty in your life.

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