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John R. Wennersten is the author of six other books:
|Anacostia - The Death and Life of an American River||The Anacostia rises from this difficult and bloody past with a fascinating story to tell. There are grand dreams by Washington D.C.'s designer, Pierre L'Enfant, to make the city a great international port, using the Anacostia's deep channels. There are bold financial ventures and shady dealings, personal fortunes made and lost. This story of the Anacostia is often one of degradation, of the ruined environmental health of the river and of the disenfranchised communities that have lived on its shores. But Wennersten ends his book with currents of hope and an "Anacostia prayer." He sees that the grand dreams have not died after all, and he concludes that urban watersheds — even highly degraded ones — can be restored, if we only have the will.||Buy It Now|
Today more than ever, large numbers of Americans are leaving the United States. It is estimated that by the end of the decade, some 10 million of the brightest and most talented Americans, representing an estimated $136 billion in wages, will be living and working overseas. This emigration trend contradicts the internalized myth of America as the land of affluence, opportunity, and freedom. What is behind this trend? Wennersten argues that many people these days, from college students to retirees, are uncertain or ambivalent about what it means to be an American. For example, many are uncomfortable with that they believe America has come to represent to the rest of the world. At the same time, globalization and advances in technology have enabled the growth of a telecommuting work force whose members can live in one country and work in another, and this trend, among other factors, has encouraged a new generation of people to respond to the pull of "global citizenship."
Leaving America is an important reexamination of one of the most central stories in the history of American culture--the story of the immigrant coming to the Promised Land. While millions still come to American and millions more still wish to do so, there is an important counterflow of emigration from America to distant parts of the planet. This book focuses on modern American expatriates as a significant and heretofore largely ignored counterpoint phenomenon every bit as central to understanding modern America as is the image of a nation of immigrants. The greatest irony in America today may well be that while argument and discord prevail in the edifice of American democracy about diversity, economic justice, equality, and the Iraq War, many of the most thoughtful citizens have already left the building.
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|Maryland's Eastern Shore||"A hundred years ain't such a very long time on the Eastern Shore," local farmers and watermen used to say, and that is a telling refrain. Past and present mix easily on the Shore, and, in this respect, as well as in certain local customs and habits of language, the region is very much still an old-fashioned English society. Until fairly recently, the peninsula was one of the most geographically isolated regions on the Atlantic coast. In this isolated society, the most important factors have been agriculture, seafaring, and race—a blend of soil, sea, and soul. In his attempt to convey the special character of the region—before accelerating change affects its transformation—John Wennersten has used these themes as a framework for an absorbing narrative. His insights into how these elements affected the development of the area and its current character take the story of the Eastern Shore beyond mere facts and into the realm of socio-cultural history. This is a fascinating overview of an unusual—and perhaps vanishing—lifestyle.||Buy It Now|
|Chesapeake - An Environmental Biography||Part of the problem in dealing with public perceptions about Chesapeake Bay is that people think it will last forever. This obviously is not true. As oceanographer Jerry Schubel has noted, twenty thousand years ago there was no Chesapeake Bay. Since that time, "There have been other beginnings and endings of other Chesapeake Bays." As we look to the future, however, we can see that increasingly the transformation of the Chesapeake will be more a human phenomenon than a work of nature. We live in times when momentous technological change can alter the face of the planet; and in the depressing words of Bill McKibben, we have already stepped across the threshold of such a change; we are at the end of nature. In the years since the Civil War and most recently since World War II, we have brought about unwelcome changes, literally altering and killing a good deal of the bay's ecosystem. As theologians tell us, we cannot have a cheap grace. Neither can the bay have a future worthy of its name as an overused, polluted and derelict seascape.||Buy It Now|
|The Oyster Wars of the Chesapeake Bay||In the decades following the Civil War, Chesapeake Bay became the scene of a life and death struggle to harvest the oyster, one of the most valuable commodities on the Atlantic coast. In this book, noted historian and author John Wennersten tells the stories of wa-termen, law enforcement officers, government officials, Bay scientists, immi-grants, and oyster shuckers involved in the oyster trade.||Buy It Now|
|25 Bicycle Tours of DelMarVa||
"A great bicycle book by a recognized authority on Chesapeake Bay history."
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