Phil Crossman University Press of New England, 2005 Library of Congress F29.V7C76 2005 | Dewey Decimal 974.153
“Several years ago it was revealed to me that creative nonfiction was a legitimate literary genre,” writes Phil Crossman. “It was the most liberating experience of my life. All these years I thought I’d been simply lying.” Crossman is a humorist in the Mark Twain mold: wry, satiric, and keenly aware of the shortcomings of human beings, but with a leavening of self-deprecation and underlying sympathy. Though rooted in a regional consciousness (coastal Maine), his humor succeeds in making the local universal. Away Happens considers daily life on an island in Penobscot Bay that supports both a tight-knit local community and a larger seasonal population. Whether he is recounting a debate that happened at the Lions Club over who counts as a “local” or describing his adventures getting the Thanksgiving turkey into the oven, ruminating on how the ferry schedule shapes island life or recalling a local crime spree, Crossman is funny, unsentimental, and authentically Maine. “There are only two places, Here, this island off the coast of Maine, and Away. Here, this place, is a small place and Away, everywhere else, is a big place, but make no mistake about it, Here is Here and Away is not. 1276 people live Here. Billions more live Away than live Here, although increasingly, during the summer, it seems otherwise.” —From the Book
Billboard in the Clouds
Suzanne S. Rancourt Northwestern University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3618.A48B57 2004 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
In this remarkable debut book of poems, winner of the Native Writers First Book Award, Suzanne S. Rancourt, presents her experience as a mixed-raced person seeking understanding through relationship with the natural world and dominant culture. Her family portraits are reminiscent of E. A. Robinson; her sensuous nature poems are imbued with love of earth as a "blessing."
my legs are explosions
of lustful wind
i converse through cracks in the walls
slipping in my true intention like a snow drift
on the inside
side of a door i pound
has become my wailing wall
i crave your tongue dusted
with words and implications
i have something you need
With nearly 450 species of birds recorded, Maine offers an abundance of birding opportunities for people of all levels of interest and experience, from those looking beyond their backyards for the first time to knowledgeable visitors looking to plug a hole in their list of sightings. The state’s wealth of undeveloped land and its extensive coastline, countless islands, and varied habitat combine to host an impressive diversity of birds at all times of year. Birders travel to Maine from near and far to seek hard-to-find species, from the only Atlantic Puffins breeding in the United States on offshore islands to Bicknell’s Thrushes high in the mountains. This book fills an important niche for the birdwatching community by offering comprehensive entries detailing the best locations for finding birds throughout the state for enthusiasts of all levels of skill and interest. It contains descriptions of 201 birding sites in Maine, with explicit directions on how to get there, for all sixteen of the state’s counties (several as large as other New England states!). Each chapter features a county map, a brief overview by Derek J. Lovitch, numerous specific site guides, and a list of rarities. The book also contains a detailed and useful species accounts guide for finding the most sought-after birds. Lavishly illustrated in color throughout, Birdwatching in Maine is the best available resource for finding birds in the largest of the New England states. Contributors: Derek Lovitch Kirk Betts Dan Nickerson John Berry Allison Childs Wells Jeffrey V. Wells Herb Wilson Kristen Lindquist Seth Benz Rich MacDonald Ron Joseph Luke Seitz
One of the most pressing concerns of environmentalists and policy makers is the overexploitation of natural resources. Efforts to regulate such resources are too often undermined by the people whose livelihoods depend on their use. One of the great challenges for wildlife managers in the twenty-first century is learning to create the conditions under which people will erect effective and workable rules to conserve those resources. James M. Acheson, author of the best-selling Lobster Gangs of Maine (the seminal work on the culture and economics of lobster fishing), here turns his attention to the management of the lobster industry. In this illuminating new book, he shows that resource degradation is not inevitable. Indeed, the Maine lobster fishery is one of the most successful fisheries in the world. Catches have been stable since World War II, and record highs have been achieved since the late 1980s. According to Acheson, these high catches are due, in part, to the institutions generated by the lobster-fishing industry to control fishing practices. These rules are effective. Rational choice theory frames Acheson’s down-to-earth study. Rational choice theorists believe that the overexploitation of marine resources stems from their common-pool nature, which results in collective action problems. In fisheries, what is rational for the individual fishermen can lead to disaster for the society. The progressive Maine lobster industry, lobster fishermen, and local groups have solved a series of such problems by creating three different sets of regulations: informal territorial rules; rules to control the number of traps; and formal conservation legislation. In recent years, the industry has successfully influenced new regulations at the federal level and has developed a strong co-management system with the Maine government. The process of developing these rules has been quite acrimonious; factions of fishermen have disagreed over lobster rules designed to give commercial advantage to one group or another. Although fishermen and scientists have come to share a conservation ethic, they often disagree over how to best conserve the lobster and even the quality of science. The importance of Capturing the Commons is twofold: it provides a case study of the management of one highly successful fishery, which can serve as a management model for policy makers, politicians, and local communities; and it adds to the body of theory concerning the conditions under which people will and will not devise institutions to manage natural resources.
The only comprehensive, up-to-date guide to wineries of the eastern United States!
Look out Napa Valley. From Maine to Virginia, a surprising number of vintners are producing impressive wines worthy of a celebratory toast. Or two.
Once thought to be a region dominated by quaint farm wines, the eastern U.S. now boasts a number of highly coveted wines. Pinot Noirs and Merlots, Rieslings and Gewürztraminers are being bottled all along the Atlantic, so even the most discriminating wine drinker can find something to please the palate.
Here is the only comprehensive, up-to-date directory to nearly 300 wineries across New England and the mid-Atlantic. Wineries in thirteen states are covered: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Invaluable as both a buying and touring guide, East Coast Wineries offers insights into the winemaking world and puts the reviews of the experts at your fingertips. Features include:
A short history of the winery
A listing of wines offered by that winery, plus recommended buys
Reviews by wine experts from major newspapers, magazines, and journals
Directions and hours of operation
A listing of annual wine festivals and other special events
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a beginner, East Coast Wineries is the book to read. Cheers!
Joshua Chamberlain has fascinated historians and readers ever since his service in the Civil War caused his commanding officers to sit up and take notice when the young professor was on the field. What makes a man a gifted soldier and natural leader? In this compelling book, Diane Monroe Smith argues that finding the answer requires a consideration of Chamberlain’s entire life, not just his few years on the battlefield. Truly understanding Chamberlain is impossible, Smith maintains, without exploring the life of Joshua’s soul mate and wife of almost fifty years, Fanny. In this dual biography, Fanny emerges as a bright, talented woman who kept Professor, General, and then Governor Chamberlain on his toes. But you don’t have to take Smith’s word for it. Liberally quoting from years of correspondence, the author invites you to judge for yourself.
Combining the drama of a true crime story with the detail of a police procedural, Finding Amy chronicles the investigation into one of the most shocking murders in recent Maine history. Twenty-five-year-old Amy St. Laurent was attractive, intelligent, and responsible. One October evening, she went out to show a friend from Florida the exciting nightlife of Portland’s Old Port section. She played pool. She danced. And then she disappeared. The police investigation into her murder riveted the state of Maine for months. This inside account of the investigation alternates between Kate Clark Flora’s objective tale of dedicated police work and the dramatic recollections of then-Lieutenant Joseph K. Loughlin, who oversaw the case. From the first call to a Portland detective about a missing woman to the police’s growing certainty that she had been murdered, from the heroic efforts to locate the body to the flight from Maine of their chief suspect, and from the painstaking work of collecting evidence and building a case to the struggles over jurisdictional questions to the twists and turns of the eventual trial, Finding Amy is a dramatic story of brutal murder and exemplary police work.
In January 1933, the United Textile Workers of America was in danger of collapse. Its membership was no larger than 15,000; its attempts to organize southern workers had failed disastrously; and it was constantly under attack from rival organizations. Yet, barely eighteen months later, with 300,000 dues-paying members, with newly established or revived branches covering southern cotton textile workers, as well as northern woolen and worsted workers, silk and jacquard weavers, dyers and finishers, even rayon workers, and with locals in 208 cities, towns, and mill villages, the UTW was about to embark on what one historian has termed “the greatest single industrial conflict in the history of American labor.” The General Textile Strike of 1934 is the story of that conflict.
The few historians who have concerned themselves at all with the 1934 textile strike have all concentrated on its southern aspect, presenting it as a southern event, a cotton textile event. No one argues that the South and cotton were not crucial to the strike’s story. It was cotton mill workers’ anger over the broken promises of the National Industrial Recovery Act that had forced a reluctant UTW leadership into supporting a strike vote. No industry leader was more devious in his dealings with the UTW leaders than George Sloan, the chair of the Cotton Code Authority and head of the Cotton Textile Institute. Nevertheless, the 1934 strike was a nationwide one, involving hundreds of thousands of silk, woolen, and rayon workers, all represented by the UTW and mostly living in states outside the South. Moreover, Peter Van Horn and Arthur Besse, head of the Silk and Woolen Code Authorities, respectively, lost little to Sloan in their intransigence toward labor’s demands. And, though the great transfer of the cotton industry from New England to the South was almost complete, there were still little pockets left in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine.
In The General Textile Strike of 1934, John Salmond tells everyone’s story. Looking at the strike from a national and an industrywide perspective, Salmond explains why workers were willing to risk protesting and describes the differences and similarities between southern and northern workers. Setting the strike within a New Deal context and focusing on its impact on the future of labor relations in the industry and on the lives of those who participated in it, The General Textile Strike of 1934 fills an important gap in American labor history.
George Magoon (1851-1929), a notorious
moose and deer poacher in Maine, was the hero of scores of funny stories of
how he outwitted game wardens. Preserving these oral histories, Edward Ives
documents Magoon's life and explores his significance as a folk hero within
the context of the conservation movement, the cult of the sportsman, and Maine's
increasingly restrictive game laws.
"A rich and subtle book, an
important work by a major scholar. . . . It is a major contribution to folklore
studies, and to history and American studies as well."
-- Journal of American Folklore
Acadia National Park, on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, is among the most popular national parks in the United States. From the road, visitors can experience magnificent vistas of summit and sea, but on a more intimate scale, equally compelling views abound along Acadia’s hiking trails. Tom Wessels, an ecologist, naturalist, and avid hiker, attributes the park’s popularity—and its unusual beauty—to the unique way in which earth, air, fire, and water—in the form of glacially scoured granite, winter winds, fire, and ocean fog—have converged to create a landscape that can be found nowhere else. In this beautifully illustrated book, Wessels invites readers to investigate the remarkable natural history of Mount Desert Island, along with the unique cultural story it gave rise to. This account of nature, terrain, and human interaction with the landscape will delight those who like to hike these bald summits, ride along the carriage roads, or explore the island’s rugged shoreline. Wessels concludes with a guided tour of one of his favorite hikes, a ten-mile loop that will acquaint the reader with the diverse ecosystems described throughout his book.
Take an unforgettable road trip down one of America’s most fascinating highways, U.S.
On what highway can you find the headquarters of the FBI, Dow Jones Interactive, and the National Enquirer? What road is home to the Bronx Zoo, the Okefenokee Swamp, and Flipper? On the side of what freeway can you find the Super Duper Weenie Wagon, Larry’s Redneck Bar, and the Big Chicken Barn? Peter Genovese found them all, along with about a million other fascinating and bizarre attractions, on U.S. 1, ‘the best damn highway in America,” as he calls it. Join him for the road trip of a lifetime The Great American Road Trip: A Journey Down U.S. 1.
U.S. 1 may not be America’s scenic highway, but it’s certainly the most colorful. It runs through Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Miami, in addition to Caribou, Maine, Quonochontaug, Rhode Island, and Alma, Georgia. It zig-zags along the wild and beautiful Maine coast and soars over the Atlantic Ocean as the Overseas Highway, one of the most spectacular stretches of road anywhere. The Star-Spangled Banner is on U.S. 1. Madonna lived on U.S. 1 (until she sold her house to Rosie O'Donnell). U.S. 1 is Main Street and the Miracle Mile, two-lane blacktop and six-lane expressway, straight as an arrow in some places and twistier than a Philadelphia soft pretzel in others.
Genovese spent two years on U.S. 1, talking to everyone from doughnut makers, dolphin trainers, and swamp guides to real Miami vice cops and the keeper of the national parasite collection. His resulting book is the most complete portrait of an American highway ever written. With his unerring eye for detail, sense of humor, and understanding of human nature, Genovese takes readers on a sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always illuminating 2,450-mile journey from Fort Kent, Maine to Key West, Florida.
Ride along with Genovese and grab a drink at the Last Resort Bar or the Last Chance Saloon, then pick up a paperback at the Banned Bookstore. Visit Oscar, the biggest gator in the Okefenokee Swamp, have dinner at Hog Heaven, and take in a Portland Seadogs baseball game. Tour a Budweiser brewery and go into the pit at a NASCAR race. Looking for someplace to stay? How about the world’s only underwater hotel, the Jules’ Undersea Lodge, or in a cabin made entirely from one pine tree at the Maine Idyll Motor Court? If it’s culture you seek, the highway boasts dozens of museums. While you may have heard of the Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American Art, how about the Blacks in Wax Museum, Tragedy in the United States Museum, and the Mushroom Museum? There’s something for everyone on U.S. 1, and Genovese has written about it all in The Great American Road Trip.
We like to think of ourselves as possessing an essential self, a core identity that is who we really are, regardless of where we live, work, or play. But places actually make us much more than we might think, argues Japonica Brown-Saracino in this novel ethnographic study of lesbian, bisexual, and queer individuals in four small cities across the United States.
Taking us into communities in Ithaca, New York; San Luis Obispo, California; Greenfield, Massachusetts; and Portland, Maine; Brown-Saracino shows how LBQ migrants craft a unique sense of self that corresponds to their new homes. How Places Make Us demonstrates that sexual identities are responsive to city ecology. Despite the fact that the LBQ residents share many demographic and cultural traits, their approaches to sexual identity politics and to ties with other LBQ individuals and heterosexual residents vary markedly by where they live. Subtly distinct local ecologies shape what it feels like to be a sexual minority, including the degree to which one feels accepted, how many other LBQ individuals one encounters in daily life, and how often a city declares its embrace of difference. In short, city ecology shapes how one “does” LBQ in a specific place. Ultimately, Brown-Saracino shows that there isn’t one general way of approaching sexual identity because humans are not only social but fundamentally local creatures. Even in a globalized world, the most personal of questions—who am I?—is in fact answered collectively by the city in which we live.
Most studies of deindustrialization in the United States emphasize the economic impact of industrial decline; few consider the social, human costs. "I Was Content and Not Content": The Story of Linda Lord and the Closing of Penobscot Poultry is a firsthand account of a plant closure, heavily illustrated through photographs and told through edited oral history interviews. It tells the story of Linda Lord, a veteran of Penobscot Poultry Company in Belfast, Maine, and her experience when the plant—Maine’s last poultry-processing plant— closed its doors in 1988, costing over four hundred people their jobs and bringing an end to a once productive and nationally competitive agribusiness.
Linda Lord’s story could be that of any number of Americans—blue- and white-collar—effected by the rampant and widespread downsizing over the past several decades. She began working at Penobscot straight out of high school and remained with the company for over twenty years. Lord worked in all aspects of poultry processing, primarily in the "blood tunnel," where she finished off the birds that had been missed by the automatic neck-cutting device—a job held by few women. Single and self-supporting, Lord was thirty-nine years old when the plant closed. In part because she was the primary caretaker for her elderly parents, Lord did not want to leave Maine for a better job but did want to stay in the area that had been her home since birth.
The book is comprised of distinct sections representing different perspectives on Lord’s story and the plant’s demise. Cedric N. Chatterley’s gritty black-and-white photographs, reproduced here as duotones, document the final days at the poultry plant and chronicle Lord’s job search, as well as her daily life and community events. Lord’s oral history interviews, interspersed with the photographs, reveal her experiences working in poultry processing and her perspectives on the plant’s closing. Carolyn Chute’s essay reflects on her own struggles as a worker in Maine, and, more generally, on the way workers are perceived in America. Alicia J. Rouverol’s historical essay explores the rise and fall of Maine’s poultry industry and the reasons for its demise. Stephen A. Cole’s epilogue brings the story full circle when he tells of his most recent visit with Linda Lord. Michael Frisch (Portraits in Steel, A Shared Authority) contributes a foreword.
Lord’s story and the story of Penobscot’s closing brings into question the relationship of business to community, reminding us that businesses and communities are in fact integrally linked—or, perhaps more accurately, should be. Her narrative makes plain that plant closings have particular ramifications for women workers, but her experience also points to the way in which all individuals cope with change, hardship, and uncertain times to create possibilities where few exist. Perhaps most important, her story reveals some of the challenges and complexities that most human beings share.
Living with the Coast of Maine
Joseph T. Kelley and Alice R. Kelley Duke University Press, 1989 Library of Congress TC224.M2K45 1989 | Dewey Decimal 333.91709741
Maine is known for its rockbound coast and pristine shoreline. Yet there is more to this shore than rocky cliffs. This book describes the origin of the more common "soft coast" of eroding bluffs, sand beaches, and salt marshes. A central theme is the formation of the present shoreline during the current ongoing rise in sea level and the ways in which coastal residents can best cope with the changes to come. Although it is not widely known, Maine is experiencing a rapid, uneven drowning of its shore at the same time that coastal development is at an all-time high. The authors explain how the shoreline is changing and provide a series of highly detailed maps that show the relative safety of particular locations on the coast.
Specific guidelines for recognizing various safe and unsafe coastal settings are presented, as are recommendations for sound construction techniques in hazardous coastal areas. Photographs and drawings illustrate the danger of living too near the shoreline, and an up-to-date review of Maine's regulations governing coastal construction is simply and readably described. A bibliography of important coastal literature is also included, as well as a guide to federal, state, and local sources of information.
The Lobster Gangs of Maine
James M. Acheson University Press of New England, 1988 Library of Congress HD8039.F66U473 1988 | Dewey Decimal 338.372538410974
James Acheson’s detailed account of lobstering in Maine quickly dispels notions that the lobstermen is the eastern version of the cowboy, struggling alone for survival against the elements. In reality, he writes, “the lobster fisherman is caught up in a thick and complex web of social relationships. Survival in the industry depends as much on the ability to manipulate social relationships as on technical skills.” Acheson replaces our romantic image of the lobsterman with descriptions of the highly territorial and hierarchical “harbor gangs,” daily and annual cycles of lobstering, intricacies of marketing the catch, and the challenge of managing a communal resource.
How do people whose entire way of life has been destroyed and who witnessed horrible abuses against loved ones construct a new future? How do people who have survived the ravages of war and displacement rebuild their lives in a new country when their world has totally changed? In Making Refuge Catherine Besteman follows the trajectory of Somali Bantus from their homes in Somalia before the onset in 1991 of Somalia’s civil war, to their displacement to Kenyan refugee camps, to their relocation in cities across the United States, to their settlement in the struggling former mill town of Lewiston, Maine. Tracking their experiences as "secondary migrants" who grapple with the struggles of xenophobia, neoliberalism, and grief, Besteman asks what humanitarianism feels like to those who are its objects and what happens when refugees move in next door. As Lewiston's refugees and locals negotiate coresidence and find that assimilation goes both ways, their story demonstrates the efforts of diverse people to find ways to live together and create community. Besteman’s account illuminates the contemporary debates about economic and moral responsibility, security, and community that immigration provokes.
Parks and People describes fifteen years of research at Maine’s Acadia National Park, conducted by Robert E. Manning, his colleagues, and students. The book is organized into three parts. Part I addresses indicators and standards of quality for park resources and the visitor experience. Part II describes efforts to monitor indicator variables. Part III outlines and assesses management actions designed to maintain standards of quality. The book concludes with a discussion of the implications of this program of natural and social science research, including a series of principles for outdoor recreation management at Acadia and other parks.
<P>The Maine Woods, vast and largely unsettled, are often described as unchanged since Henry David Thoreau's journeys across the backcountry, in spite of the realities of Indian dispossession and the visible signs of logging, settlement, tourism, and real estate development. In the summer of 2014 scholars, activists, members of the Penobscot Nation, and other individuals retraced Thoreau's route.</P><P>Inspired partly by this expedition, the accessible and engaging essays here offer valuable new perspectives on conservation, the cultural ties that connect Native communities to the land, and the profound influence the geography of the Maine Woods had on Thoreau and writers and activists who followed in his wake. Together, these essays offer a rich and multifaceted look at this special place and the ways in which Thoreau's Maine experiences continue to shape understandings of the environment a century and a half later.</P><P>Contributors include the volume editor, Kathryn Dolan, James S. Finley, James Francis, Richard W. Judd, Dale Potts, Melissa Sexton, Chris Sockalexis, Stan Tag, Robert M. Thorson, and Laura Dassow Walls.</P>
For nearly twenty-five years, poet Baron Wormser and his family lived in a house in Maine with no electricity or running water. They grew much of their own food, carried water by hand, and read by the light of kerosene lamps. They considered themselves part of the “back to the land” movement, but their choice to live off the grid was neither statement nor protest: they simply had built their house too far from the road and could not afford to bring in power lines. Over the years, they settled in to a life that centered on what Thoreau called “the essential facts.” In this graceful meditation, Wormser similarly spurns ideology in favor of observation, exploration, and reflection. “When we look for one thread of motive,” he writes, “we are, in all likelihood, deceiving ourselves.” His refusal to be satisfied with the obvious explanation, the single thread of motive, makes him a keen and sympathetic observer of his neighbors and community, a perceptive reader of poetry and literature, and an honest and unselfconscious analyst of his own responses to the natural world. The result is a series of candid personal essays on community and isolation, nature, civilization, and poetry.
In her book Sarah Orne Jewett: Reconstructing Gender, Margaret Roman argues that one theme colors almost every short story and novel by the turn-of-the-century American author: each person, regardless of sex, must break free of the restrictive, polar-opposite norms of behavior traditionally assigned to men and women by a patriarchal society. That society, as seen from Jewett’s perspective during the late Victorian era, was one in which a competitive, active man dominates a passive, emotional woman. Frequently referring to Jewett’s own New England upbringing at the hands of an unusually progressive father, Roman demonstrates how the writer, through her personal quest for freedom and through the various characters she created, strove to eliminate the necessity for rigid and narrowly defined male-female roles and relationships.
With the details of Jewett’s free-spirited life, Roman’s book represents a solid work of literary scholarship, which traces a gender-dissolving theme throughout Jewett’s writing. Whereas previous critics have focused primarily on her best-known works, including “A White Heron,” Deephaven, A Country Doctor, and The Country of the Pointed Firs, Roman encompasses within her own discussion virtually all of the stories found in the nineteen volumes Jewett published during her lifetime. And although much recent criticism has centered around Jewett’s strong female characters, Roman is the first to explore in depth Jewett’s male characters and married couples.
The book progresses through distinct phases that roughly correspond to Jewett’s psychological development as a writer. In general, the characters in her early works exhibit one of two modes of behavior. Youngsters, free as Jewett was to explore the natural world of woods and field, glimpse the possibility of escape from the confining standards that society has set, though some experience turbulent and confusing adolescences where those norms have become more pressing, more demanding. At the opposite extreme are those who have mindlessly accepted the roles in which they have been trapped since youth—greedy, selfish men, dutiful women who tend emotionally empty houses, young couples unable to communicate either between themselves or with others—in short, characters who are too alienated within their roles to function as whole human beings.
On the other hand, Jewett approaches the men and women of her later works with a higher degree of optimism, in that each person is free to live according to the dictates of his or her inherent personality—each character is able to measure life from within rather than from without. This group includes the self-confident men who are not reluctant to present a nurturing side, and the warm, giving women who are unafraid of displaying a decided inner strength. As Roman summarizes, “In her writings, Jewett attempts to shift society’s focus from a grasping power over people to the personal development of each member of society.”
Ahead of her time in many ways, Sarah Orne Jewett confronted the Victorian polarized gender system, presaging the modern view that men and women should be encouraged to develop along whatever paths are most comfortable and most natural for them.
Since 1986, Robert Klose has taught biology at a “small, impoverished, careworn” college in central Maine. Located on a former military base, the school became first the South Campus of the University of Maine, or SCUM, and later, Penobscot Valley Community College, then Bangor Community College, and most recently University College of Bangor. Despite its improved nomenclature, University College of Bangor remains an open-admissions environment at which “one never knows what’s going to come in over the transom.” Klose’s nontraditional students have included, in addition to single parents and veterans, the homeless, the abused, ex-cons, and even a murderer (who was otherwise “a very nice person”). Chronicling his experiences teaching these diverse students, Klose describes with equal doses of care and wry wit those who are profoundly unfit for college, their often inadequate command of the lingua franca, and the alacrity with which they seize upon the paranormal (the three-legged woman) while expressing skepticism about mainstream science. He reflects on the decline of reading for enjoyment and the folly of regarding email as a praiseworthy substitute for expository writing. He details what works in the classroom, identifies what has failed, and relates stories of the absurd, the sublime, and the unanticipated, such as one student’s outburst following a discussion of evolution: “For what you have taught today you shall be damned to everlasting fires of hell!” Tempering thoughtfulness with a light touch and plenty of humor, these essays prove that teaching, an “imperfect occupation,” remains a “special profession.”
As a youth in Denver, Donald Mace Williams developed an affection for high mountain country. After a journalistic career spent mostly on flat lands, he set out to rediscover what was special about country above timberline. He hiked the high alpine in four of America's major ranges-the Rockies, Sierra Nevada, Cascades, and northern Appalachians-and in his narrative of his travels, he tells us what he saw and learned and who he met. Having visited some of these areas when younger, Williams compares his psychological and physical responses as an older man and how his ideas about how to treat the environment have evolved. A recurring theme is the compromises that people such as he make between the pull of mountains and freedom and the responsibilities of making a living in the lowlands. Mainly, he observes and experiences what is distinctive about the timberline environment.
Throughout his book, Williams gently informs readers regarding timberline history, nature, weather, and archaeology; high altitude physiology; and environmental concerns. Frequently, he recounts encounters with interesting and varied people he meets on the trails: a young British hiking companion who has come back to Colorado to repeat a climb on which, a year previously, his two fellow climbers died; a pilot who climbs isolated peaks in the Sierra Nevada in search of bouillon-can scrolls signed by famous early mountaineers; a "Literate Farmer" who pauses on a mountain trail in Vermont to discuss Robert Frost.
Donald Mace Williams is a retired journalist who has worked for such newspapers as The Wichita Eagle, Newsday, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas, has published one previous book (Interlude in Umbarger: Italian POWs and a Texas Church); poems in Western Humanities Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, and South Dakota Review; and a short story in Southwest Review. He now lives in Texas.
Deep in the wildlands of northern Maine is a remote piece of land with a small point sheltering a shallow cove along the shore of an expansive lake. Used as a campsite by indigenous peoples for thousands of years, the land was cleared in the mid-1800s, developed into a lumber depot and named Chamberlain Farm. Following a period of neglect after a century of use by lumbermen, the area was turned into a rustic enclave for hunting and fishing enthusiasts. In recent years as civilization encroached, it became the focus of protection efforts by wilderness lovers who sought to ensure preservation and keep in it some semblance of its former wildness.In The Wilderness from Chamberlain Farm, historian Dean B. Bennett traces those transformations, bringing to life the people involved, their motivations, and the interconnected effects of their actions. Beginning 10,000 years ago with the retreat of the glaciers, Bennett offers an overview of the forces that shaped the land, and the visitors to and inhabitants of this place once known as Apmoojenegamook -- "lake that is crossed." We meet one of the first American owners of the property, David Pingree, and his agent E. S. Coe, who kept a tight rein on operations from the 1840s until the turn of the century. An acquaintance of Coe and visitor during that time was Henry David Thoreau, who passed through the area on one of his excursions in the Maine woods. We also are introduced to the indomitable Patty and Al Nugent, who staked a claim on the land and built a sporting camp with their own hands that has served as a haven for outdoorsmen from the 1930s to the present day. And we learn of the efforts of Senator Edmund S. Muskie and others to protect this wild river area, culminating in the creation of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and its federal designation as the nation's first state-administered riverway in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.The dynamic history of the farm and its setting illuminate society's evolving perspective on the natural world around us. The Wilderness from Chamberlain Farm describes and explains the perspectives revealed by those attracted to the farm and its environment, and those who fought to protect the Allagash, offering a valuable lens through which to understand the changing relationship of people and the land.