Maryland’s Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place
by John R. Wennersten
History / United States / State & Local
9 in H | 6 in W
“A hundred years ain’t such a very long time on the Eastern Shore,” local farmers and watermen used to say, and that is a telling refrain. Past and present mix easily on the Shore, and, in this respect, as well as in certain local customs and habits of language, the region is very much still an old-fashioned English society. Until fairly recently, the peninsula was one of the most geographically isolated regions on the Atlantic coast. In this isolated society, the most important factors have been agriculture, seafaring, and race—a blend of soil, sea, and soul. In his attempt to convey the special character of the region—before accelerating change affects its transformation—John Wennersten has used these themes as a framework for an absorbing narrative. His insights into how these elements affected the development of the area and its current character take the story of the Eastern Shore beyond mere facts and into the realm of socio-cultural history. This is a fascinating overview of an unusual—and perhaps vanishing—lifestyle.
John R. Wennersten is Emeritus Professor of environmental history at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. He is the author of Chesapeake Bay: An Environmental Biography and Anacostia the Death and Birth of an American River. His work The Oyster Wars of Chesapeake Bay won the Maryland Writer's Prize.