THE LOBSTER COAST: REBELS, RUSTICATORS, & THE STRUGGLE FOR A FORGOTTEN FRONTIER
Author: Colin Woodard
Publisher: PENGUIN/PUTNAM (PENGUIN ACCT), Apr 2005
A beautifully considered history of lobsters, lobstermen, & the Maine coast. B&W maps t/out; 5.5x8.5 inches, 384 pgs.
For more than four hundred years the people of coastal Maine have clung to their rocky, wind-swept lands, resisting outsiders? attempts to control them while harvesting the astonishing bounty of the Gulf of Maine. Today?s independent, self-sufficient lobstermen belong to the communities imbued with a European sense of ties between land and people, but threatened by the forces of homogenization spreading up the eastern seaboard.
In the tradition of William Warner?s Beautiful Swimmers, veteran journalist Colin Woodard traces the history of the rugged fishing communities that dot the coast of Maine and the prized crustacean that has long provided their livelihood. Through forgotten wars and rebellions, and with a deep tradition of resistance to interference by people "from away," Maine?s lobstermen have defended an earlier vision of America while defying the "tragedy of the commons"?the notion that people always overexploit their shared property. Instead, these icons of American individualism represent a rare example of true communal values and collaboration through grit, courage, and hard-won wisdom.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
"A well-researched & well-written cultural & ecological history of stubborn perserverance." --USA Today
"This lively book reveals a little known culture that predates the Pilgrims & has remained true to the earliest version of the American Dream: an egalitarian, self-reliant republic. The self-sufficient lobstermen of the Maine coast are models of environmental prudence: at a time when the fishing industry is in crisis, they have conserved the bounty of their waters, even as the once-humble lobster has become a coveted delicacy. How denizens of the coast achieved this balance, even as they withstood assaults from everyone from French raiders to rapacious land speculators, makes a "stellar informational history...a primer for conservation and the effects of bad politics." --The Kingston Observer
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Colin Woodward is a Maine native & the author of Ocean's End: Travels Through Endangered Seas. He is a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor and the San Francisco Chronicle. He lives in Portland, Maine.