Wye Island

Wye Island

Wye Island

Wye Island

Synopsis

"'Chickenneckers' are city folk who come to Maryland's Eastern Shore with crab traps and chicken necks for bait. They crowd the bridge railings, docks, and public landings. The local people wish they would go away. This book is about the 'line between insiders and outsiders, between the excluders and the excluded.' In 1974, Jim Rouse, developer of Maryland's planned city, Columbia, announced his intention to build a similar community on the Eastern Shore's Wye Island. The alternative to his carefully conceived plan was a set of cookie-cutter subdivisions. But the same people who resented the chickenneckers wanted no part of Rouse's concept of the future. Gibbons describes Wye Island and its environs, its history, and its people with skill and objectivity. The book is excellent in all respects and should be read by those who care about the future of our communities."-- Library Journal, 6/15/1977

Excerpt

When, in December 1973, an internal reorganization brought Boyd Gibbons into the division I was then heading, he seemed, above all else, a misfit. Not only was his subject matter unrelated to energy or materials--to the extent that there is anything unrelated to these two elements--but it seemed obvious that he was not writing a "scholarly" book. That is to say, he had resorted neither to statistical computations nor to a computer. He cited no literature and neither confirmed nor contradicted existing theories. There were no footnotes or references, no tables or graphs.

It took me some time to get on Boyd's wavelength; to understand, and more important, to appreciate, that his raw materials were people: their thoughts, emotions, prejudices, whims, and, eventually, their judgments coming together in collective decisions. At first I was disoriented and, in a way, disturbed by the seeming lack of logical order to the story he tells and the infeasibility of drawing conclusions that are generally applicable.

Out of a sense that a scholarly work must have "conclusions," I even drove him into an ill-fated attempt to distill findings out of his story so that it could stand up as a "project" rather than . . .

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