The Lobster Coast by Colin Woodard
Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier

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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.


About Colin Woodard

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COLIN WOODARD is a writer, historian, and journalist who has reported from more than fifty foreign countries and six continents. He is a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and his work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Economist, Smithsonian, The Miami Herald, the Los Angeles Times, and and the author of The Lobster Coast and Ocean's End. He lives in Portland, Maine.
Published April 26, 2005 by Penguin Books. 384 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Sports & Outdoors, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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In this lucid cultural history of Maine, journalist Woodard tells the story of the rugged people who inhabit the state's coastal fishing communities, beginning with the Scotch-Irish, Germans and migrants from southern New England who from the early 17th to the early 19th centuries struggled to ma...

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USA Today

The Lobster Coast by Colin Woodard (Viking, $24.95) is a well-researched and well-written cultural and ecological history of stubborn perseverance over the past two centuries along the coast of Maine, an area that is now being overrun by suburbanization.

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