Coastal Chronicle

  Joppa Landing, in Newburyport, Mass., once a major China Trade port.

Joppa Landing, in Newburyport, Mass., once a major China Trade port.

From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary,’’ in GoLocal24.com

Coastal New England: Its Life and Past, by William F. Robinson, is the best popular history I’ve read of our shoreline and its offshore from Eastport, Maine, to Greenwich, Conn., from about 1500 to the 1980s. This coffee-table tome tells sociological, political, economic and environmental stories with scholarly rigor combined with mass market accessibility and droll (and sometimes dark and snarky) humor, showing the beautiful (such as coastal vistas and artists) and the ugly (wars, slaves, smugglers, drownings, etc.) and the full range between. It has a delightful assortment of illustrations – maps, illustrations and photos.