Maryland's Vanishing Lives

Overview

For more than two years, John Sherwood roamed Maryland's small towns and city neighborhoods, traveled Appalachian back roads, and sailed the Chesapeake looking for people whose work or way of life recalled the state's rich and varied tradition. Maryland's Vanishing Lives is his vivid account of the people he met on those journeys. Working in a country store or an old-time movie house, on a small tobacco farm or a weathered skipjack, Sherwood's subjects interest us as people, as stubborn survivors who have ...

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Overview

For more than two years, John Sherwood roamed Maryland's small towns and city neighborhoods, traveled Appalachian back roads, and sailed the Chesapeake looking for people whose work or way of life recalled the state's rich and varied tradition. Maryland's Vanishing Lives is his vivid account of the people he met on those journeys. Working in a country store or an old-time movie house, on a small tobacco farm or a weathered skipjack, Sherwood's subjects interest us as people, as stubborn survivors who have watched—sometimes defiantly, sometimes wistfully—as the world moved on.

These Marylanders' stories poignantly show what happens to family businesses and ordinary folk in the face of new technology, suburban sprawl, franchise outlets, and changing tastes. But Maryland's Vanishing Lives is also an engaging celebration of pride and craft, and the ability to survive. In this collection of sixty-six short profiles, illustrated with memorable photographs by Edwin Remsberg, Sherwood preserves for posterity the lives of Marylanders who hang on to values and skills that are quickly disappearing.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
Wistful, beautiful, elegiac... A handsome collection of essays and photographs that celebrates the lives of pigeon racers and elevator operators, oyster packers and barrel makers, sailmakers and boat builders, fishermen and blacksmiths. A kind of 'let us praise famous men' (and women), it celebrates blue collars and skinned knuckles, the stubbornness and pride that led some to continue with trades they learned long ago, not caring that the world has long since passed them by.

— David Nicholson

Wall Street Journal
An elegant, understated volume... A combination Baedeker and time capsule, a guide to the Maryland, and the America, that is fast disappearing, the victims of the highway, the chain store, the franchise restaurant, the blur of windows, DOS, and disks.

— David Shribman

Baltimore City Paper
Sherwood's prose is that of a master craftsman in his field—clear and plain, admirably brief yet touched with insight. Remsberg's photographs are straightforward, black-and-white, and blessedly free of artsy effects. Their book is a fine gift for this area, more than just a nice coffee-table decoration.
Washington Post - David Nicholson
Wistful, beautiful, elegiac... A handsome collection of essays and photographs that celebrates the lives of pigeon racers and elevator operators, oyster packers and barrel makers, sailmakers and boat builders, fishermen and blacksmiths. A kind of 'let us praise famous men' (and women), it celebrates blue collars and skinned knuckles, the stubbornness and pride that led some to continue with trades they learned long ago, not caring that the world has long since passed them by.
Wall Street Journal - David Shribman
An elegant, understated volume... A combination Baedeker and time capsule, a guide to the Maryland, and the America, that is fast disappearing, the victims of the highway, the chain store, the franchise restaurant, the blur of windows, DOS, and disks.
Booknews
Profiles 66 Marylanders whose work or way of life is vanishing, documenting in text and photographs (black-and-white) the rich and varied heritage that is being bulldozed by mass culture, e.g., operating a toll bridge, making hats, harvesting oysters, and teaching in a one-room school are among them. No index or bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801852497
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Series: Maryland Paperback Bookshelf Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 1,414,626
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

John Sherwood is managing editor of Rags, a sailing magazine published in Annapolis, Maryland. He has been a reporter for the Washington Star, and Baltimore Sun, and the Miami Herald. Edwin H. Remsberg is a freelance photographer whose work appears regularly inn regional and national publications.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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