Maine: The Wilder Half of New England (Paperback)

Maine: The Wilder Half of New England By William David Barry Cover Image

Maine: The Wilder Half of New England (Paperback)


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This concise, solid, and surprising overview traces 500 years of Maine history, from first contact between Native Americans and European explorers to the achievement of a Down East identity, national political power, and worldwide cultural identification. Changes in the economy, religion, ethnicity, arts, leisure, and education have all shaped Maine and Mainers, with some intriguing results.

Illustrated with well over 200 images drawn from the collections of the Maine Historical Society, the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Special Collections at the Portland Public Library, the Maine State Museum, local historical societies, private collections, and even the Vatican, these pages contain many rare and fascinating drawings, paintings, and photographs. The bibliography is a rich resource for exploring Maine history further.

William David Barry, historian, writer, exhibition curator, and native New Englander, has written or co-authored books with a local focus ranging in topic from the Colonial mast trade, to the care of orphans in Maine institutions, L.L. Bean, Inc., the early HIV/AIDS crisis in Maine, and the lost city of Deering, Maine.

In 1983 he collaborated with life-long friend Randolph Dominic on the historical novel Pyrrhus Venture (Atlantic Monthly Little Brown). He has written essays and reviews for Down East Magazine, Portland Magazine, Magazine Antiques, Art New England, and the Maine Sunday Telegram, and guest-curated over a dozen exhibitions for organizations including the University of Southern Maine, New Hampshire Historical Society, Barridoff Galleries, and the Brick Store Museum.

In his spare time he co-authored monographs of architectural interest for the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and of business successes for the Newcomen Society. In 2005 the Trustees of the Maine Historical Society awarded Barry the prestigious Neal Allen, Jr., Award for outstanding contributions to the field of Maine history. In tandem with his freelance career Barry has worked as a reference librarian at the Portland Public Library and since 1994 at the Maine Historical Society's Brown Library.

He lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and amanuensis, Debra, and an elderly cat, Keegan.

Product Details ISBN: 9780884483335
ISBN-10: 0884483339
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Publication Date: June 11th, 2012
Pages: 288
Language: English
books have been written about Maine’s unique history, but few have been as
entertaining as this.
— Central Maine Newspapers

William David Barry's book, Maine: The Wilder Half of New England, is universal in scope, kaleidoscopic in nature, encyclopedic in detail, and truly engaging in format. His descriptions of the rich visuals grafted onto the text are, in and of themselves, nuggets of history.This sweeping glance of Maine history offered in the pages of this work, which ranges from those who first touched the soil of what was to become Maine, to the election of our current Governor, Paul LePage, could only be written by one who has a vast command of Maine history, and the dedication and skill to lace together its fragments into a mosaic that reveal the 'Big Picture,' a task reserved to a limited few Maine historians.

Readers will find themselves on an historical expedition that exposes them to the major forces, personalities, and events that sculptured Maine history. This is not a narrow political history. It borders on Maine as a civilization with its multi-dimensional coverage, e.g., art, music, theater, religion, lifestyle, education, science, invention, transportation, trade, work patterns, law and order issues, social and military conflicts, communication systems, attitudes, social change, etc. His elaborate index and bibliography will easily serve to guide those whose interest has been sparked by its rich and varied content.

Maine: The Wilder Half of New England is a jewel as an educational tool for students and teachers, and will serve the citizenry generally, not only as an enjoyable and informative journey through Maine history, but, also as a healthy reminder that the world we know did not fall out of the sky ready-made. It will remind us all, that we best understand ourselves when we see ourselves in a wider social and historical context. I highly recommend this book to all.

— Charles A. Scontras, Historian and Researcher, Bureau of Labor Education, University of Maine at Orono

An accurate,
articulate, informative, insightful, and visually attractive account of Maine
for the twenty-first century.
— Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Maine State Historian