A new book looks at nearly 150 'castles' of the coast. Lighthouses have exchanged their once-crucial role in shipping and American coastal security for a new one as maritime monuments. A new book, Lighthouses of America by former Coast Guard rescue pilot Tom Beard in collaboration with the U.S. Lighthouse Society, showcases nearly 150 of what some historians have called 'America's castles.' Organized into geographical areas, including New England, the Great Lakes, and the West Coast, the book describes lighthouses' changing role as automated lights took over from people. Even in the era of boats guided by GPS, some sailors still appreciate the welcoming glow of that distant beam.
-The Wall Street Journal
Lighthouses of America, produced in association with the United States Lighthouse Society, is the next best thing to a tour of the real things. Not only do the stunning photographs transport you instantly to the harbors, bluffs, cliffs, and dunes of America's coastlines, the accompanying narratives reveal the 300-year history of these iconic spires. It's a trip through the past from a maritime perspective. ...From cover to cover, it's a pleasure to hold and peruse-not just once, but again and again-whenever it's time for a retreat into the beauty and historic import of these charming towers. I loved learning about Fresnel lenses, too, those amazing works of glass art that gave lighthouses the ability to keep ships from harm. It's informative, beautiful, inspiring, and just the right size to live permanently on my coffee table in Las Vegas, Nevada. The nearest lighthouse is 250 miles away, but thanks to this book, I can escape into the romance and history of 'America's castles' any time I pick it up.
Of the enduring charm of lighthouses, the book's editor and former Coast Guard rescue pilot Tom Beard writes, Open seas in darkness is an eerie, sometimes frightening experience for navigators, but a distant, flashing light to sailors conveys a symbol of hope, tranquility, and comfort. Inside the tower, stalwart lighthouse keepers, tending lights in all manner of weather and personal privation, add to the mystique.