Friday, November 28, 2008

Book Review

I was recently offered a free copy of this book with the possible inclusion of a review on my blog.
After checking on their website to ascertain that it was a legitimate offer, I agreed. My book arrived a few days later, a hefty coffee table book. At first glance my thought was, "Oh just a lot of black and white photos" and then I sat down to read it and changed my mind. It really is a glance at the history of our state from 1878, when the capital was established in Hartford to the 1960's and I found it fascinating.

The book is divided into four sections: A Gilded Age and the Golden Dome (1868-1916), Change for the Land of Steady Habits (1917-1938), Life On the Home Front (1939-1945), and Peace and Prosperity (1945-1960's).

The collection of mostly casual snapshots provide unique and different viewpoints. The short introduction to each chapter and the very informative text under each photo give a glimpse at what has made Connecticut what it is today. I liked the format of one large photo on each page.

I will quote the book jacket here because they can say it so much better than I can:
"From the decades following the Civil War we view Connecticut's inventiveness and industrial genius through its mills and factories. In its neighborhoods, colleges, and rural towns we glimpse its religious, cultural, and intellectual wealth. Along rural lanes, railroads, rivers, and highways we catch images of its farmers, workers, and war heroes, of its reformers, industrial statesmen, inventors, and school children. Through train wrecks, floods, fires, and blizzards, Historic Photos of Connecticut provides a glimpse at the hardscrapple toughness that characterizes the people of Connecticut."

I moved to Connecticut in 1970, so all the events in the book happened before I was here, but many were things that I had heard about, like the great floods and blizzards. There was also a lot of information that was new to me. I was hoping that the book would continue up to the current date, but it stops at the 1960's.

I think that this book would make a nice Christmas gift for any CT resident or history buff. You can order it from This is Turner Publishing Co.

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