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.