The Lobster Coast
Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for A Forgotten FrontierBook - 2004
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.
Baker & Taylor
A history of coastal Maine's lobster communities describes their defense of local traditions, their resistance to groups that would exploit their resources, and the wisdom gleaned from lifetimes spent in support of community interests.
Journalist Woodard, a self-identified native Mainer, offers a historical, social, and ecological portrait of his home state, portraying the land and its people as a world perpetually separating natives attempting to defend their economic livelihoods and social ways of life from intruding outsiders (who often give birth to new generations of natives). Mixing journalism and synthetic history, he describes the political developments of the state, examines the ups and downs of the coast's fishing and lobstering communities, and discusses the relationship between those communities and the environment upon which they depend. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Blackwell North Amer
Veteran journalist Colin Woodard's portrait of the Maine coast and its forgotten history is a tale of intrigue, conflict, and stubborn perseverance. Born and raised in Maine, Woodard is able to reveal a people with an Old World sense of ties that exist between blood and soil: many of the tiny fishing and farming hamlets that dot the coast are still occupied by the families that settled them three or four centuries ago. These communities and their unique way of life are now threatened by the forces of suburbanization spreading north from the cities.
Sustaining these seaside and island villages is the humble lobster, which rose from a source of cheap bait to a worldwide delicacy, from servants' food to one of the essential underpinnings of the economy and culture of the North Atlantic Coast. Informed by their cultural values and hard-won historical experience, Maine's lobstermen have found a way to defy the "tragedy of the commons," the notion that people always overexploit their shared property. Recognizing ecological limits and balancing what is individually possible with what is communally desirable, these lobstermen have created a precious example of a truly sustainable fishery.
A history of coastal Maine's lobster communities describes their ongoing defense of local traditions, their resistance to groups that would exploit their resources, their shared property values, and the wisdom they have gleaned from lifetimes spent in support of community interests. 35,000 first printing.