||Michael C. Connolly
||University Press of Florida
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Some of the studies and novels written in the past concentrate on ships and shipbuilding. Some concentrate on the sailors who, often while being portrayed romantically, took these ships to the four corners of the globe and, in the age of sail, put Maine close to the center of the maritime world. Other studies have concentrated on issues of commerce, trade, and facilitating the ocean-borne transportation of raw materials and manufactured goods. What has largely been neglected in most of these studies, however, has been a thorough treatment of the workers who stayed at home and who loaded and unloaded these ships—the longshoremen, otherwise known as dockworkers or, imprecisely, as stevedores. Lacking the romance of "those who go down to the sea in ships," these hardy souls only went as far as the wharves. Their labor, though, was every bit as crucial as that of the more thoroughly documented related areas of manufacturing; agriculture; mineral and natural resource extraction, including fishing; and shipping. The dearth of documentation on these longshore laborers in New England is particularly stark given the pivotal role of the shipping industry, sailing, whaling, and all other maritime-related functions on the regional economy and the historical development of New England, generally, and the state of Maine, in particular...