Tall Trees, Tough Men

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Overview

In this robust, informal book, Robert E. Pike tells the colorful story of logging and log-driving in New England.
The New England loggers and river drivers were a unique breed of men. Working with their axes and peaveys through Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, they contributed mightily to the development of the United States. The daily life of the loggers was hard — working in deep icy water fourteen hours a day, sleeping in wet blankets, eating coarse food, and constantly ...
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Tall Trees, Tough Men

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Overview

In this robust, informal book, Robert E. Pike tells the colorful story of logging and log-driving in New England.
The New England loggers and river drivers were a unique breed of men. Working with their axes and peaveys through Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, they contributed mightily to the development of the United States. The daily life of the loggers was hard — working in deep icy water fourteen hours a day, sleeping in wet blankets, eating coarse food, and constantly risking their lives. Their pay was very low, yet they were proud to call themselves loggers. When they came out of the woods after the spring drives, they ebulliently spent their pay carousing in the staid New England towns. Robert E. Pike, who as a youth worked in the woods and on the rivers, writes affectionately and knowingly, with humorous anecdotes, of every detail of lumbering. He describes the daily life of the logging camps, giving a picture of the different specialist jobs: the camp boss, the choppers, the sawyers and filers, the scaler, the teamsters, the river men, the railroaders, and the lumber kings. His descriptions bring the reader vividly into the woods, smelling the tangy, newly cut timber, hearing the boom of the falling trees. "The author's lively prose matches the temper of his subject. . . . This is basic history, geography, psychology, economics, and folklore all rolled into one top-quality volume." — R. S. Monahan, New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393319170
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Edition description: (Reissue)
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 716,632
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert E. Pike died in 1997.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Tall Trees Tough Men takes you on an anicdotal trip, not to a distant time but to a different way of life and of work.

    Robert E. Pike takes you on a trip to, when men were men and trees were still virgin. Starting with the early days of the exploration of the North American continent, and the disscovery of the vast virgin White Pine forests. The author paints a vividly picturesq landscape of the New World, from the men helving thier axes to ox teams straining under the pressure of the teaming log sleds. Then takes you all the way to the end of the lumberjackes way of life, and the birth of the chainsaw, train, and tractors. The stories are spellbinding, and the lumberjack way of life was rugged at best. The author tells some of the events in the book form a first hand perspective, for he lived the lumberjack life untill the chainsaw, and big lumber pushed him out. A lot of the book has an edge to it, like that of a well sharpend ax, that's aimed at modern day axmen and big lumber. There is no love lost between the author and his forgotten way of life, and todays way of life, and of the buisness of logging. Which somtimes spills out in little rants against the latter, in the book. While the book does not tell you how to log, or any real technical details about equipment, or how to fell a tree. What it does give you, is great ancidotal stories about trees, the men who fell them, and a lost way of life. A realy enjoyable read!

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