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The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier Paperback – April 26, 2005
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier by Colin Woodard explains how Maine lobstermen voluntarily conserve their lobster population and keep the industry sustainable.
The stereotype of the Maine fisherman as stoic, independent and not easily impressed is apparently well deserved. Woodard suggests that Maine's lobsters benefit from small, traditional, often ancient, fishing communities that jealously guard their resource. Though anyone can theoretically obtain a license to fish for lobster in Maine, the pros protect their harbors from interlopers, snubbing neophytes with no ancestral ties to the community, and even vandalizing their traps.
Maine lobstermen have also protected their lobster population by making the breeding female lobster almost sacred. Woodard lauds the lobstermen's practice of "V-notching" egg-bearing females-punching a small hole in their tail fins before releasing them back into the ocean. Notching is code for "Cherished breeder-not for sale." Lobstermen have agreed among themselves to throw back the V-notched lobsters-even when they are eggless.
Maine's lobstering community also tosses back outsized male lobsters-a practice unique among fishing industries.
Woodard writes ambitiously about the whole state of Maine and its history, starting with its pre-Pilgrim inhabitation by Europeans.Read more ›
He has a way of combining present day Maine with historical Maine; Maine seen through his eyes, the eyes of those he interviews, and words written down centuries ago. They all flow together seamlessly, creating a fluid history of this amazing state.
Perhaps it is because generations of my father's family have been born, lived and died in the Pine Tree state.
Maybe it is because I have fished and set lobster traps commercially in New England, and have seen the boom and collapse of the industry:the boom due to plentiful stocks of cod and other groundfish, and the collapse due to over fishing and poor fisheries management.
It might be in part because I know many of the places of which he speaks.
In the end, I think it is all of these, and maybe none of these.
Colin Woodard is simply the best writer of U.S. history I have read.
If you are looking for names and dates, you will find many here. If you are recalling history as written in school textbooks, you are in for a very happy surprise. His history books real like novels, but they are better. Unlike James Michener's historical novels, however, all the information cited in Mr. Woodard's books is true. The people and the events are real. They happened, and many continue to happen to this day.
You will come away from reading this book with a hunger for more information. Maybe, if you haven't visited coastal Maine, you will decide to do so. And if you do visit Maine, or perhaps even live there, you will gain new insights into the forces, both natural and man made, that shaped this great state.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was recommended to me by a college history faculty who said the author was one of his favorites. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Booklover
Great insights on the State of Maine, it's fishing traditions and it's culture. I thought it was just going to be about Lobster history but it was that and a whole lot more.Published 14 days ago by ChicagoRunner
This was a gift for my neighbor, who loves Maine. He read the book right away and said that he really enjoyed it.Published 24 days ago by John H Carter
We own a summer home in Maine. This book about Maine is historical and very interesting. It helped me better understand Mainers and the history of early Maine up to around 2004. Read morePublished 29 days ago by JRBJR
Great book. Couldn't put it down once started. Colin Woodward is a great journalist.Published 3 months ago by Justsomeguyinmaine
Really found the pre-Mayflower history and accounts of life in Maine compelling (and since that is my family story).Published 6 months ago by Dave M Collection
It is a great book for learning about the history of Maine. However, the writing was SO inconsistent. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Zinny
The most comprehensive historical overview of Miane's social and historic development. A MUST read for new residents!Published 11 months ago by klaxon
Recently went to Maine on vacation and read the book prior to going. It really helped me appreciate the trip and what we were seeing. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Amazon Customer