October 19 - November 5, 2017

Concord, Massachusetts

Two weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.
  • Colman Andrews
    Colman Andrews
  • Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman
  • Gordon Wood
    Gordon Wood
  • Gish Jen
    Gish Jen

Eric Jay Dolin

Events: The American Lighthouse

Book: Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse

Visit Author's Website

Eric Jay Dolin is the author of When America First Met China; Fur, Fortune, and Empire; and the best-sellling Leviathan, which was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as a best book of the year.

In Brilliant Beacons, a book rich in maritime lore and brimming with original historical detail, Dolin presents the most comprehensive history of American lighthouses ever written. Set against the backdrop of an expanding nation, Brilliant Beacons highlights the political, military, and technological battles fought to illuminate the nation’s hardscrabble coastlines. Readers are treated to a memorable cast of characters including the penny-pinching Treasury official Stephen Pleasonton, who hamstrung the country’s efforts to adopt the revolutionary “Fresnel Lens,” as Dolin presents tales both humorous and harrowing of soldiers, saboteurs, ruthless egg collectors, and most importantly, the light-keepers themselves.