Winner, John Lyman Award, North American Society for Oceanic History
Winner, Heritage Book Award, Maryland Historic Trust
First Place, Professional Scholarly Books, 25th Annual New York Book Show
Harvested for food, harnessed for power, and home to more than 3,600 species of plants, fish, and animals, the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries have long been essential to the sustainability and survival of the region’s populations. Historian William S. Dudley explores that history in an engaging and comprehensive account of Maryland’s storied maritime heritage.
Dudley paints a vivid picture of Maryland’s maritime past in its broadest scope, exploring the complex and nuanced interactions of humans, land, and water through descriptions of shipbuilding, steam technology, agricultural pollution, commercial and passenger transportation, naval campaigns, watermen, crabbing, and oystering. He also discusses the evolution of recreational boating—yachting, cruising, and racing—and the role of underwater archaeology in uncovering the bay's shipwrecks. These interactions become chapters in the larger story of Maryland’s waterways, a story that Dudley tells through insightful prose and stunning illustrations.
This rich history of Maryland's waterways reveals how human enterprise has affected—and been affected by—the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
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