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This is part tribute to the glories and beauty of a place and part a history of its people - fisherman, sailor, farmer, lumberman, shipwright and quarryman rolled into one, and master of all. Originally conceived as a speech delivered to benefit local libraries, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Samuel Eliot Morison developed the text into a book first published in 1960. This revised edition adds historical photographs and commentary by Morison's daughter, Emily Morison Beck, editor of Sailor Historian , an anthology of Morison's work, and Gregory M. Pfitzer, an associate professor at Skidmore College and author of Samuel Eliot Morison's Historical World . But the text is vintage Morison. His breezy style captures the high points of the island's glorious history and touches many of Morison's own passions - from the early Abnaki tribes, to the great European explorers, to the island residents and rusticators, of which Morison was one, owning 'cottages' in both Northeast Harbor and Tremont.
The legendary Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976) was a giant among twentieth-century historians, twice winning the Pulitzer Prize and receiving numerous other honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and sitting as the first Harmsworth professor of American History at Oxford. Morison, who wrote with a signature sweep and flair, is credited with practically inventing the study of maritime history and influencing generations of historians through both his beliefs and his dozens of books chronicling this nation's history.