Chronicle reporter and author Ted Reinstein will speak about his new book, co-authored with his wife, Anne-Marie Dorning, New England’s General Stores: Exploring an American Classic.
The general store is literally as old as America itself, and harkens back to a simpler time and a more innocent and rural nation. And in tough times, it was a place that often treated customers like family, extending credit when no one else would. In short, the general store was real-life Norman Rockwell—deeply woven into America’s cultural identity, an integral part of the nation’s self-portrait from its earliest days.
Over the last 50 years, many of New England’s general stores, competing with behemoths like Wal-Mart and Target, began to disappear. But then a funny thing happened: people really missed them; in many towns, they decided to hold onto them. In talking about his new book, Reinstein will share the rich and colorful history of this iconic institution, how they figured in the rise of early American commerce, why they began to fade, and why—like another New England icon, the diner—they have begun to come back and even be re-invented and re-imagined for a new era. Told with anecdotes from a variety of local landmark stores across the region, the presentation is accompanied by the award-winning photography of Art Donahue.
The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session, and Reinstein will then sell and sign his books.
This program is made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Middleboro Public Library.