Monday, July 28, 2014

"Unsettled" Finale


"Unsettled", our epic 29 part series on Maine's Passamaquoddy people, concludes in this week's Maine Sunday Telegram. You can read the entire series at this landing page.

And, yes, before you ask, we are going to be issuing an e-book edition, and possibly a print edition as well. More on that later as details emerge.

The series has received an overwhelmingly positive reaction here in Maine. The Columbia Journalism Review has called it "a masterclass in serialization." It's been featured by the Poynter Institute, Indian Country Today, the Milwaukee Journal, Romeneso, and as a New York Times featured it in their "Our Picks" feature on their popular smartphone app, "New York Times Now."

Here in Maine, I've been interviewed about it by WCSH-6/WLBZ-2, WGAN (twice, including this latest conversation on Saturday), and WMPG. I'll be speaking to CBC New Brunswick later in the week.

We'll be publishing an Epilogue to the story next Sunday as well.

Thanks for reading, to my editors at the Press Herald for all their support, to the brilliant Brian Robitaille for the page designs, Peter Vachon for the web design, and staff photographer Gabe Souza for the fantastic work

Friday, July 25, 2014

Poynter on "Unsettled" (which concludes Sunday)

The Poynter Institute, the school for excellence in journalism, featured "Unsettled" today on their widely read MediaWire, including interviews with Press Herald managing editor Steve Greenlee, series photographer Gabe Souza, and myself. It tells the story behind the story, and how our paper came to run a 29-part, 50,000 word series spanning half a century.

"Unsettled" continues today and concludes on Sunday. Friday's installment -- Chapter 27 -- focuses on the serious problems in the management of the Passamaquoddy's most expansive resource: their forests. The entire series can be found here.

And, yes, for those who've been asking, there are plans for an e-book in the works, and possibly a print edition as well.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Republic of Pirates, now in Polish


The Polish language edition of my third book, The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down, is on its way to stores in East-Central Europe.

Republika Piratów is published by Sine Qua Non in my favorite Polish city, Krakow and, if I understand correctly, will be on shelves within the month. The book -- which is also available in U.K, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, and audiobook editions with others on the way -- is the inspiration for the NBC series "Crossbones" which is presumably on its way to television screens in other parts of the world.

Meanwhile, in unrelated news, "Unsettled", my 29-part series on Maine's Passamaquoddy continues in the Portland Press Herald today (and every day through July 27). The tribe has won their historic land claim, but their challenges are only just beginning.

Friday, July 11, 2014

CJR: "Unsettled" is "a masterclass on serialization"


"Unsettled", my 29 part series currently running in the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, continues today, with one tribal attorney cast out and a new one on the case.
 
Yesterday, the Columbia Journalism Review featured the series, calling it "a startling story of injustice and
defiance and a mastercalss on serialization." They also gave us the opportunity to explain why we think such a series fits so well with a daily newspaper's mission, and how we went about illustrating it. Thanks to CJR for their interest.

Also yesterday, the leading Native American news hub, the Indian Country Today Media Network, carried this plug for "Unsettled."

You can find all of "Unsettled" as it appears on this landing page. And again, no, there's no plan yet to release it as a book, although if everyone keeps asking we may have to make one.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Unsettled" continues, and gets a plug from the New York Times


"Unsettled", a shocking 29 part series currently running in the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, continues today. The Passamaquoddy tribe's attorney, it is revealed, was set up by state prosecutors in a sting operation unleashed the moment he returned home from filing the tribe's first land claims suit.

The series has been receiving an overwhelmingly positive reaction here in Maine, with many readers expressing amazement and horror about some of the events. This morning, the New York Times featured it in their "Our Picks" feature on their popular smartphone app, "New York Times Now." (Image on right).

Last night I had an enjoyable chat with Chris White and Andy Verzosa on WMPG-FM's "Tuesday Night Talk Radio Club"here in Portland. In a few days, you'll be able to catch it in their online archives here.

You can find all of "Unsettled" as it appears on this landing page. And, no, there's no plan yet to release it as a book, although if everyone keeps asking we
may have to make one.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summarizing LePage's latest scandal for Politico

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is in the midst of another scandal, this time for his worrisome and sustained interest in the work of a group of conspiracy theorists, at least one of whom likes to joke (?) about executing legislative leaders.

I've summarized the facts over at Politico Magazine.

It's discouraging, but predictable, to watch LePage supporters try to treat this as a garden variety partisan issue. Seriously: you can support your guy and still question some of the things he does. He needs it.

For those of you outside of Maine unfamiliar with the governor, here's a piece I did for Politico in January. And if you really, really want to know the guy, read my two-part ,10,000-word biography from the Portland Phoenix; he's truly a fascinating character, and his rise from truly harrowing childhood circumstances is pretty impressive.

And, in parting, here's the Bangor Daily News' editorial on this latest scandal; it's titled "Stating the obvious...".




Monday, July 7, 2014

Talking Blackbeard and pirates at the Smithsonian, July 14

I'm looking forward to presenting an evening seminar on the real Blackbeard at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. on July 14.

The talk, which kicks off at 6:45 pm is open to the public, but you do need to register and the Smithsonian Associates do charge for tickets.

My story on the last days of Blackbeard was the cover of the February issue of Smithsonian Magazine, and I researched the true story of his cohort of remarkable pirates in The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Him Down, which is itself the basis -- contractually speaking, at least -- of NBC's drama "Crossbones" with John Malkovich.

It's indeed a surprising story, one I think is more compelling than the fictionalized versions.