Chesapeake Bay Bridge Book Explores Maryland's Historical, Cultural and Political Rivalries

The story of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and its role in bridging the historical, cultural, political and geographical divide between the residents of Maryland’s Eastern and Western Shores is the subject of an exciting new book from Old Line Publishing.
Bridging the Chesapeake by David W. Guth
Bridging the Chesapeake by David W. Guth
HAMPSTEAD, Md. - Jan. 6, 2014 - PRLog -- Bridging the Chesapeake: A ‘Fool Idea’ that Unified Maryland, written by Maryland native David W. Guth, traces the four-century long rivalry between the state’s two shores and the long struggle over whether and where to build a bay bridge.  It also explores the unintended consequences that followed the opening of the bridge in 1952 and its parallel span in 1973.

“Maryland has been called a ‘confederacy of two shores,’” said Guth, an Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Kansas. “In many ways, the story of the Bay Bridge is Maryland’s story."

“More than that, the struggles chronicled in this book mirror the challenges that faced our nation,” Guth said. “This is an American story.”

While much of the book’s focus is on the Eastern Shore – Western Shore rivalry, Bridging the Chesapeake also examines the sometimes rough-and-tumble world of Maryland politics. With the advent of the automobile in the early 20th century, a variety of competing interests emerged, each with its own vision of how best to move cars and people across Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore and Washington merchants were also concerned that they were losing access to the Eastern Shore’s agricultural and seafood bounty to nearby Philadelphia. The book also focuses on the rivalry and vision of two former Maryland governors, William Preston Lane, Jr. and Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin.

“The Lane-McKeldin rivalry helped define Maryland in the years after the Second World War,” Guth said. “Although they were very different men, both had a vision and passion for the state and its people.”

For much of its history, population growth on the Eastern Shore lagged behind the rest of the Maryland. For example, in the first half of the 20th century, the population of the Eastern Shore's nine counties grew 107 percent, half the growth rate for the rest of the state. However, since the 1980 census - the first taken after the completion of the parallel bridge in 1973, the Eastern Shore population has increased nearly 175 percent, compared to 133 percent for the rest of the state.

"The Bay Bridge really changed the population dynamic of Maryland," said Guth. "In the process, for better and worse, it changed the basic nature of the Eastern Shore."

Guth, born in Baltimore but reared on the Eastern Shore, is a graduate of Easton High School and the University of Maryland. He also earned a masters degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina. After a career in broadcast journalism and public relations, Guth joined the faculty of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Kansas, in 1991.

This book and many other Old Line Publishing titles are available from most major online book retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Books-A-Million, and others. You can also order directly and conveniently from the Old Line Publishing Bookstore.

Old Line Publishing is currently accepting unpublished manuscripts. Let us help you share your story with the world. Visit today for more details and additional information.

Old Line Publishing is a rapidly growing online publisher of books and periodicals. The company prides itself on being a blend of traditional publishing and state-of-the-art publishing. Since its beginning in 2006, Old Line Publishing has focused on creating, marketing, distributing and retailing high quality books and periodicals. Old Line Publishing has set itself apart from its competitors by offering high quality publishing services to both new and established authors and incorporating digital printing services for all their catalog titles. Old Line Publishing works one on one with every individual author to provide each author with a top quality book.

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