Dimensions:9in x 6 x 0.8 in | 480 gr
Page Count:316 pages
Illustrations:46 b&w photos, 2 maps, 1 chart
For four centuries, dykes held back the largest tides in the world, in the Bay of Fundy region of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. These dykes turned salt marsh into arable land and made farming possible, but by the 1940s they had fallen into disrepair. Against the Tides is the never-before-told story of the Maritime Marshland Rehabilitation Administration (MMRA), a federal agency created in 1948 to reshape the landscape. Although agency engineers often borrowed from long-standing dykeland practices, they were so convinced of their own expertise that they sometimes disregarded local conditions, marginalizing farmers in the process. The engineers’ hubris resulted in tidal dams that compromised some of the region’s rivers, leaving behind environmental damage. This book is a vivid, richly detailed account of a distinctive landscape and its occupants, revealing the push–pull of local and expert knowledge and the role of the state in the postwar era.
For four centuries, dykes turned salt marsh into arable land in the Bay of Fundy region of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. But by the 1940s, the aging dykes were in poor repair. Against the Tides is the never-before-told story of the Maritime Marshland Rehabilitation Administration, a federal agency created in 1948 to reshape the landscape. Agency engineers sometimes borrowed from long-standing dykeland practices, but they also disregarded local conditions in building tidal dams that compromised some of the region’s rivers. This vivid account of a distinctive landscape and its occupants reveals the push–pull of local and expert knowledge and the role of the postwar state.
Ronald Rudin is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at Concordia University. He is the author of numerous books, among them Remembering and Forgetting in Acadie: A Historian’s Journey through Public Memory and Kouchibouguac: Removal, Resistance, and Remembrance at a Canadian National Park. The latter received the Canadian Historical Association Clio Prize for best book on Atlantic Canada, the Canadian Oral History Association Prize, and the Prix de l’Assemblée nationale from the Institut d’histoire de l’Amérique française. Rudin has produced eight documentary films, most recently Unnatural Landscapes, which accompanies this book.
Told using primary sources that have rarely, if ever, been exploited, Against the Tides is truly something new under the sun. Rudin succeeds in making the fragmented and chaotic story of the marshlands both understandable and highly interesting.- Matthew Hatvany, professor, Department of Geography, Université Laval
Against the Tides is an environmental story of people and place, of war and peace, of struggle and resilience, and of science and humanity … Rudin encourages and enables the reader to reflect on the sweep of time and tide across the Fundy marshlands; to contemplate anew the variety, intricacy, and consequences of human-environment relations; and to ponder – with some urgency – the future of our planet.- rom the foreword by Graeme Wynn, professor emeritus, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia
Against the Tides is a skillful examination of distinctive landscapes and histories...[it] is also an illustration of the potential of community-involved scholarship and a powerful reminder of how audiovisual materials can enrich research dissemination efforts. - Shannon Stunden Bower, NiCHE