Synopses & Reviews
“No writer I can think of, unless it is Sebastian Junger, might have written this obsessed, intrepid, and intelligent book.”
“‘Nowhere in all America, wrote Herman Melville in Moby-Dick, ‘will you find more patrician-like houses, parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford. Not any- more. Down at the Docks is about the lives of New Bedford fishermen–man against the sea, and all that–but it is much more; it is a hard, unvarnished look at New Bedford today, where the relic commercial fishing industry is only one of the components, and where the old ways run smack into modern problems like drug-smuggling, illegal immigration, organized crime, disorganized crime, and suffocating government regulations. Melville would have been shocked to see what has become of what he called ‘the dearest place to live in, in all of New England. Rory Nugent tells the fascinating story of New Bedford the way it really is, not the way wistful romantics would like to remember it.”
Richard Ellis, author of Men and Whales
From the Hardcover edition.
In the opening pages of Moby Dick
, Herman Melville called New Bedford, Massachusetts, “the dearest place to live in, in all of New England.” But the old fishing port and manufacturing center—once one of the richest cities in New England—has withered in the modern economy. Its once-prosperous fishermen now struggle with government regulations and fished-out seas, while its empty factories now offer more work to the Fire Department than anyone else.
In Down at the Docks, Rory Nugent tells the “riches to rags” story of this iconic American town through beautifully told and unsentimental portraits of its residents. Their lives inform a eulogy to the distinctive ideas, traditions, and culture that is about to disappear from the waterfront.
About the Author
Rory Nugent is an explorer and a writer. His previous books are The Search for the Pink-Headed Duck and Drums Along the Congo. An accomplished mariner, he has sailed single-handed across the Atlantic four and a half times, his last trip ending in shipwreck.