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The Same Ax, Twice: Restoration and Renewal in a Throwaway Age by [Mansfield, Howard]
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The Same Ax, Twice: Restoration and Renewal in a Throwaway Age Kindle Edition

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A cross between Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic and James M. Lindgren's Preserving Historic New England, this volume delightfully investigates Americans' penchant for fixing up old stuff. New Hampshire journalist Mansfield (Skylark: The Life, Lies, and Inventions of Harry Atwood) introduces readers to engineers who spend their spare time trying to replicate the Wright brothers' original plane; to devotees of historic Deerfield (a colonial village come to life in Massachusetts); and to the tourists who visit places such as the Shaker Village in his hometown of Hancock, N.H., and Graceland. He eavesdrops on gravestone restorers musing about 17th-century slate headstones and provides tips for preserving photographs and furniture. (Don't place nectar-dripping flowers in a vase you want to last; blot--don't rub--at alcohol spilled on furniture; don't drag furniture if you care either about the chair or your floorboards). Similarly, Mansfield investigates the meaning of Old Home Day orations and auctioneers' rhythmic cadences and provocatively contrasts New England villages--of yesterday and today--with gated communities in the suburbs. Our fixation with restoration, he concludes, has meaning beyond the idle fascination of rich folks with nothing better to do than fix up old trunks and sleigh beds. Rather, as his subtitle suggests, we find renewal in our reclaiming of objects from the past. "The best restorations," writes Mansfield, "are truly restorative." Reading this book is equally so. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This meditation, which explores the nature of memory, history, and restoration, carries forward Mansfield's thesis from In Memory's House (1993) that a defining New England characteristic is the conviction that we choose our past. The title refers to a farmer who respects an ax so much that he replaces both blade and handle twice. Thus, the axe is both the same and totally different, the conclusion being that rebuilding an object accurately uncovers its essence. Through richly layered essays, Mansfield argues that only through living with the past can we keep it alive. Otherwise, as rootless beings we will inhabit a sterile, disposable world. The author parades before the reader numerous people and the things they have preserved, from a builder reassembling historic homes to a farmer preserving land for future generations. This beautiful, haunting work about people laboring to keep history's spring flowing is highly recommended for collections dealing with restoration and related issues.
-Nigel Tappin, Dwight, Ont.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 1297 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of New England (April 4, 2000)
  • Publication Date: April 4, 2000
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0071NAWAW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,345,638 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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