Alongshore by Professor John R. Stilgoe

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Along the shore are fishing boats and lighthouses, wharves and piers, resorts and shipwrecks - picturesque vistas that are visited and photographed but have never before been scrutinized from a historical or cultural perspective. In this enchanting book, John R. Stilgoe takes us on a tour of the seacoast, evoking its sights, sounds, and textures, and showing how it illuminates issues of landscape and of American culture. Drawing on sources as diverse as Thoreau and Kate Chopin, agricultural newspapers and the Hardy Boys, and always emphasizing his own hikes and small-boat passages along the coast, Stilgoe provides a guidebook for anyone intrigued by the seacoast, "the last place in which adult Americans walk barefoot." He describes guzzles (configurations of sand), gunkholes (unfrequented harbors), and loomings (optical phenomena on the horizon). He explains why watchtowers stand guard all along the Atlantic coast; why wharves are perennially decaying; the different ways that pirates have been perceived through the centuries; and why local women of the shore towns wear bikinis. Like the sea itself, Stilgoe's Alongshore invigorates and exhilarates, drawing us back to its pleasures again and again.

About Professor John R. Stilgoe

See more books from this Author
John R. Stilgoe is Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the History of Landscape at Harvard University.
Published April 27, 1994 by Yale University Press. 456 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Science & Math, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Alongshore

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

He explains how salt marshes are formed and how culture impinges on them, how marshes are dissected by railroads and bridges, how fiberglass boats have turned yards where the wooden boats wintered and were refitted into condominium developments, why wharves have criminal associations and are eate...

| Read Full Review of Alongshore

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Landscape historian Stilgoe presents an intimate look at the Massachusetts seacoast.

| Read Full Review of Alongshore

Rate this book!

Add Review