Reviews

White Pine

The roots of the eastern white pine run deep, literally and figuratively — the mighty tree has triggered rebellions, generated fortunes, and ignited the battle for national independence. Andrew Vietze has created a unique view of American history, one that’s beautifully written, lucid and detailed and fascinating throughout.

—Michael Finkel, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Stranger in the Woods.

The white pine is one of the great McGuffins of history, a forgotten prime mover in the creation of both New England and the United States. Now Andrew Vietze has placed that noble tree where it belongs, as a focal point of our national story. White Pine is good history written in a refreshing, breezy style, surprising, illuminating, and informed.

—James L. Nelson, author of Benedict Arnold’s Navy

Award-winning author Andrew Vietze’s White Pine: American History and the Tree that Made a Nation is a gripping ride through a history of exploitation, power, and oppression rife with monarchies and massacres, diseases and deceits, rebels and the good fight. It’s the story of hardworking, independent people as singular and proud as their chosen totem, the mighty yet modest white pine.

As a Registered Maine Guide, park ranger, and lifelong devotee of the outdoors, author Vietze knows of what he writes. When he claims that Pinus strobus is the tree that shaped America, settle in, you’re in good hands. Vietze’s engaging language brings this bold history to life: You see the bite of the ax, smell the musket fire, witness the great log drives, hear wind grazing the lofty heights of the white pine, still standing today. White Pine is the noble saga Hollywood only wishes it could conjure.

—Matthew P. Mayo, award-winning author of Stranded: A Story of Frontier Survival

Andrew Vietze gives the eastern white pine the Kurlansky treatment with this meticulous and affectionate exploration of how the commonplace conifer has shaped (and continues to shape) New England. No silvicultural slog, it’s a sweeping and surprisingly lively tribute to the trees that became the struts — and the symbols — of a rambunctious young nation. And it’ll renew your appreciation for what’s left of our once-great eastern woodlands.

—Brian Kevin, Down East

Boon Island

“(A)s real as today’s news . . . a maritime whodunit rife with twists and turns and high drama.” Publishers Weekly

“. . . Boon Island is a superb collaboration. It is both well-researched history and a page-turning mystery that begs to be a motion picture.” Portsmouth Herald

“If you have read Eric Larson you will like this.” John Pare, Amazon

“incredibly well written . . .a masterful work,” Chris Ryan, New Hampshire Now, WKXL

“(G)ripping. . . reads like a script from a movie.” Maine Sunday Telegram

Boon Island is a must. . . much recommended.” Midwest Book Review

“Thoroughly enjoyed Boon Island, a book that has all the elements of a great thriller: stormy seas, shipwreck, mystery, collusion, secrets, plotting…. oh, and cannibalism. As a New England resident who has lived through many a Nor’easter, I can easily imagine what horror these shipwrecked sailors had to go through while awaiting rescue on that barren bit of rock (it barely deserves the name “island”). Add to that the way the authors weave in various competing narratives, and the book starts to read like a mystery. A compelling story with compelling characters. Hard to believe it’s all true….” Michael Charney, author of Tea with the Mad Hatter

“A gruesome tale of survival and cannibalism still fascinates after 300 years. . . Gripping. . . . The authors examine the disparate accounts of captain and crew in precise, page-turning detail.” Down East

“This is a well-researched and smartly presented history that reads like a novel, a maritime mystery of dishonor, death, suspicious motives, mutiny, and cannibalism. . . fascinating.” Kennebec Journal

“With Boon Island: A True Story of Mutiny, Shipwreck, and Cannibalism, one of the most brutal survival stories in American history is finally—and fully—told in all its fascinating, gruesome infamy. Equal parts thriller, survival epic, horrifying history, and cautionary tale, if ever there was a story tailor-made for Hollywood, it is this. Masterfully written, Boon Island is that rare creature, a lively scholarly account and a gripping page-turner, that amply rewards history buffs and thrill-seekers alike.”
Matthew P. Mayo, author of Bootleggers, Lobstermen & Lumberjacks: Fifty of the Grittiest Moments in the History of Hardscrabble New England

(A)  “a story that offers mystery, adventure, and heroism of an admirable but often unrewarded kind . . . and a plot twist worthy of a Dickens novel.” The Wire

“Powerful. . . Vietze, a former editor at Down East magazine, is an especially engaging writer. . .” Working Waterfront

Becoming Teddy Roosevelt

“(An) amazing, true-life tale of lasting camaraderie between great men of strikingly different backgrounds and stations. Highly recommended.” Midwest Book Review

“In Becoming Teddy Roosevelt, Vietze celebrates the extraordinary qualities of two men: the one largely unsung, the other well known, larger than life, but rarely shown in so intimate and human a light. It is a joy to read.” Maine Sunday Telegram

“A wonderful book.” Seattle Post Intelligencer

“It’s easy to see why the author has won awards for his historical writing, the narrative never feels strained or contrived as so many biographies often do, but it flows at times like a good novel . . . Becoming Teddy Roosevelt is crucial reading for anyone interested in TR.” Big Sky Journal

“(A)n extraordinary book about an ordinary man, a very human friendship, and a sickly future president.” Book Life

“I’ve been doing this show for 10 years – with 400 authors – and I’m going to put this in the top ten. It’s a classic page turner.” Johnny Kosnow, Open Book, WRFR

(M)eticulously researched . . . remarkable . . . reading this book really brings you into every setting the two men shared, from the lumber camps of Maine to the White House.” Bangor Daily News

“Don’t miss Becoming Teddy Roosevelt . . . There seems to be a lot of writing about and public interest in TR’s legacy to America (River of Doubt, Wilderness Warrior, and In Trace of TR) . . . Becoming Teddy Roosevelt is the perfect sequel.” Lewiston Sun Journal

“(H)ighly readable and entertaining. . . Vietze’s excellent storytelling skills revive the life of a remarkable Mainer who left an indelible mark on his state and the nation.” Working Waterfront

“(W)ell crafted and entertaining. . . These two men genuinely liked, respected, and trusted each other and Andrew Vietze makes us like them, too.” Times Record

“Now the friendship between Sewall and Roosevelt is fully explored. . .” Boston Globe

“Vivid and dramatic. . . a fascinating story of a famous American hero and an unassuming Mainer and how each positively affected the life and career of the other.” Kennebec Journal

“Andrew Vietze’s book is one of those rare and exceptional kinds of works . . .this is a great literary book to include in the canon of Theodore Roosevelt. A wonderful read! Christian Engler

“I highly recommend the book. You will be heartened and moved by the stirring tale it tells.” John Neff, author of Katahdin: An Historic Journey

“Andrew Vietze’s new book, Becoming Teddy Roosevelt, is a gift to all TR fans. . .” Wellesley Free Library Blog, where librarians blog about their favorite books.

Reviews from Amazon’s top reviewers: “[W]onderfully written.” “A stellar work of historiography.” “A remarkable book about two remarkable men.” “Probably the best book I’ve read in the past twelve months.”

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