Porter Fox spent three years exploring the 4,000-mile border between Maine and Washington State. Join Fox, who is from Southwest Harbor and graduated from Mount Desert Island High School, as he talks about his book “Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America’s Forgotten Border” and his journey at the Jesup Memorial Library on Tuesday, May 28 at 7 p.m.
The northern border of the United States was America’s primary border for years and is the world’s longest international boundary. While the southern border is now the fixation of much discussion, Fox sets out to demystify the northern border telling stories of its past and the people who now call this area, called “Northland,” home. Fox traversed the border by canoe, freighter, car, and foot. Setting out from the easternmost point in the mainland United States, Fox follows explorer Samuel de Champlain’s adventures across the Northeast; crosses the Great Lakes on a freighter; tracks America’s fur traders through the Boundary Waters; and traces the forty-ninth parallel from Minnesota to the Pacific Ocean. Fox packs his narrative with colorful historical characters (Captain Meriwether Lewis, railroad tycoon James J. Hill and Chief Red Cloud of the Lakota Sioux) and extraordinary landscapes (Glacier National Park, the Northwest Angle and Washington’s North Cascades). Along the way, he weaves in the tales of the border guards, Indian activists, and militia leaders he meets during his travels to tell the story of a border racked by climate change, water wars, oil booms, and border security.
The book was recommended by the New York Times for its holiday gift guide and The New York Times Book Review writes, “Whether experiencing run-ins with crusty locals, reviving long dead historical characters last heard from in high school history books, enduring rough weather or savoring majestic landscapes, he brings it all to vivid life. With strong descriptive powers and a clear appetite for his task, Fox succeeds in making his journey sound romantic, urgent, valuable and appealing as hell.” Kirkus adds in their starred review “Richly populated with fascinating northlanders, Native Americans, and many border patrol agents, [“Northland”] is highly entertaining and informative travel literature.”
Fox is the editor of Nowhere and the author of the book “Deep.” His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Believer, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, and The Best American Travel Writing. He lives in New York.
This talk is sponsored by First National Bank and First National Wealth Management. Books will be on sale that night courtesy of co-sponsor Sherman’s Books. For more information about the talk, contact the Jesup at 207-288-4245 and for more information on Fox visit porterfox.com.