August Speaker Event: Down the Conspiracy Rabbit Hole: Arthur Nelson Field and the Great Depression

Wednesday 30 August at 5.30 pm

Down the Conspiracy Rabbit Hole: Arthur Nelson Field and the Great Depression

The 1930s New Zealand experienced a severe social, economic and political crisis. As the Great Depression took hold, a widely respected and experienced journalist sought to understand the causes of the devasting collapse in purchasing power and the misery this unleashed across the country. Through a series of chance events, A.N. Field became convinced that the economic crisis had been deliberately manufactured by a super-conspiracy of malevolent Jewish bankers. Pouring his newfound conspiratorial antisemitism into his writings, Field influenced the political debate in New Zealand and became an important conspiratorialist ‘expert’ to the English-speaking far-right. Field’s influence was the subject of a chapter in the recently published book: Histories of Hate: The Radical Right in Aotearoa New Zealand (Otago University Press, 2023).

About the author: Raised in Dunedin amidst a large Dutch immigrant family, Marinus La Rooij is an independent researcher with degrees from Otago and Victoria Universities. He has been researching and publishing on radicalisation, antisemitism and extremism over the last thirty years and was a co-editor of Histories of Hate. Professionally, Marinus has been a state servant and consultant working on transport and infrastructure matters, and also as an official in the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process.