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Exploring Stone Walls: A Field Guide To Stone Walls

This book is supposed to be a bit of a field guide to Northeastern stone walls. It sort of reaches that goal, but it’s stronger as a rumination of the nature of stone and the interplay between man and nature in New England over the past 400 years. As a field guide, it’s lacking clear photographs of described wall and rock types, and the classification scheme that he has created is great but shoved into an appendix. It may be that I don’t have enough training, but some of his descriptions were not evocative enough for me to get a clear idea of what he was describing, though it was clear that he knows this topic inside and out. My favorite parts were his descriptions of what you could learn by a community or builder by loking at their walls; the anthropological aspect of his work and his enthusiams for the subject shine through on every page. There is an appendix listing some of his favorite walls in New England as well as some that he finds notable for one reason or another.