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Brilliant Beacons - A History of the American Lighthouse, with author Eric Jay Dolin
Custom House Maritime Museum
New London, CT
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In conjunction with New London Maritime Society's 1st 'Long Island Sound Lighthouse Symposium', we present an evening with Eric Jay Dolin, author of 'Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse', (published by Liveright Publishing Corporation, April 2016).

In 'Brilliant Beacons', Eric Jay Dolin traces the evolution of America's lighthouse system, highlighting the political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation's hardscrabble coastlines. The talk incorporates more than 100 photographs and illustrations.

Mr. Dolin presents a memorable cast of characters including the penny-pinching Treasury official Stephen Pleasonton, who hamstrung the country's efforts to adopt the revolutionary "Fresnel Lens," and tells tales both humorous and harrowing of soldiers, saboteurs, ruthless egg collectors, and most importantly, the light-keepers themselves.

Eric Jay Dolin is the award-winning author of 'When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail'; 'Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America'; and 'Leviathan: The History of Whaling In America.'

He earned a double-major in biology and environmental studies, and then was awarded a masters degree in environmental management from Yale. Dr. Dolin has a Ph.D. in environmental policy and planning from MIT, where his dissertation focused on the role of the courts in the cleanup of Boston Harbor.

"A fine history of lighthouses . . . The author of other masterly works on key aspects of American history and growth . . . Dolin here presents a thoughtful, straightforward chronicle of the American lighthouse . . . A delightful journey with excellent sketches, renderings, and resources for museums and organizations."
Kirkus Reviews (Starred)

"Here we have a full-bodied and fabulous history of one of America's most scenic and formative icons, the coastal beacons that defined a young nation's economic drive and determination to own the seas.  Readers familiar with the irresistible narratives Dolin delivered in Leviathan or Fur, Fortune, and Empire can be confident that he has now done the same for the riveting history of America's lighthouses."
Rinker Buck, author of 'Flight of Passage and The Oregon Trail'

"What Moby-Dick is to whales, Brilliant Beacons is to lighthousesa transformative account of a familiar yet mystical subject. Eric Jay Dolin has devised a surprising and ingenious approach to our shared past and present. Having spent a lot of time by the sea over the years, I was enthralled by this book."
Laurence Bergreen, author of 'Columbus: The Four Voyages'

"Eric Jay Dolin looks beyond the postcard romance of lighthouses to reveal a vibrant and vital history.  From shipwrecks and wartime raids to poetry, bird migration, and the physics of refraction, Brilliant Beacons is a fascinating, page-turning, and yes, illuminating read."
Thor Hanson,  author of 'The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers'

Presented in partnership with Bank Square Books.
Sponsored in part by Chelsea Groton Bank and TCORS Tobin, Carberry, O'Malley, Riley & Selinger, P.C.  

New London Maritime Society owns three Long Island Sound lighthouses: New London Harbor Light, est. 1761, rebuilt 1801, the oldest and tallest lighthouse on the Sound; Race Rock Light, est. 1878 and built by New London's Capt. T.A Scott, off of Fishers Island, NY; & New London Ledge Lighthouse, est 1909, which is managed by the Ledge Lighthouse Foundation. Come, see our permanent lighthouse exhibition at the Custom House Maritime Museum, which is open year-round. Every summer, New London is a hub of lighthouse activity. Since 2011, NLMS has held annual 'Sentinels on the Sound' Summer Lighthouse Celebrations. Find out more about lighthouse talks, special events, & tours at our 'Sentinels on the Sound' facebook page.

(To find out more about the afternoon Long Island Sound Lighthouse Symposium, and an opportunity to attend a dinner with Mr. Dolin, please visit nlmaritimesociety.org. Details will be posted as they are confirmed.)
Wednesday Apr 20, 2016 7:00 PM - Wednesday Apr 20, 2016 9:00 PM | $20.00 - $25.00


Custom House Maritime Museum (View)
150 Bank Street
New London, CT 06320
United States


Arts > Literary
Education > Classes
Other > Family-Friendly

Minimum Age: 10
Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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