Release Date: 01 January 2010
Category: North America
In a narrative that recalls Thoreau, Marc Shell starts from the cultural and natural history of the spectacularly beautiful island. Like a classical geographer, he explores how geology and biology blend with aesthetics and politics. Grand Manan has the highest tides in the world and majestic basalt cliffs. Its unique ecology has attracted visitors from John Audubon and the painters of the Hudson River Group to the scientific directors of the Smithsonian Museum. Shell demonstrates how, in this setting, the hospitable islanders, with the unique linguistic dialects of their five villages, have developed a vigilantly independent and self-sufficient political culture that is at once democratic in the Canadian tradition and republican in the American.
In what can be read as both an interdisciplinary history and an encyclopedic travel guide, Shell paints the story of Grand Manan - its cultural history, geology, political past, changing economy, the immigration and emigration of its population - on the broad canvas it deserves.
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