A Meeting of Land and Sea. Nature and the Future of Martha’s Vineyard

By David R. Foster
Illustrations by Brian R. Hall
Photography by David R. Foster

  (click to browse the Table of Contents)

Released January 2017 (Yale University Press)

"Opening this book is like opening a vault filled with discoveries about the natural and human history of a magnificent island. David Foster has created an important and unique work, a journey through time, about the creation and future of a magical place."

— Jeff Fager, Executive Producer, 60 Minutes

Full of surprises, bedecked with gorgeous photographs and maps, and supported by unprecedented historical and ecological research, this book awakens a new perspective on the renowned New England island, Martha’s Vineyard. Author David Foster explores the powerful natural and cultural forces that have shaped the storied island to arrive at a new interpretation of the land today and a well-informed guide to its conservation in the future.

Two decades of research by Foster and his colleagues at the Harvard Forest encompass the native people and prehistory of the Vineyard, climate change and coastal dynamics, colonial farming and modern tourism, and land planning and conservation efforts. Each of these has helped shape the island of today, and each also illuminates possibilities for future caretakers of the island’s ecology. Foster affirms that Martha’s Vineyard is far more than just a haven for celebrities, presidents, and moguls; it is a special place with a remarkable history and a population with a proud legacy of caring for the land and its future.

"From his years of first-hand observations and thorough research, in combination with an exceptional ability for making what he has to say clear and compelling, David R. Foster has given us not only a different way of looking at the landscape and history of Martha's Vineyard, but at history and our human settings overall—and the inevitable influences of the past on the future. All in all, with its superb maps and marvelous photographs, A Meeting of Land and Sea is a stunning achievement."

— David McCullough, WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE and author of john adams, 1776, and the wright brothers

Page previews: