MIDDLEBORO — Ted Reinstein, author and reporter for WCVB-TV’s “Chronicle” program, will return to the Middleborough Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 20, to talk about his latest book, co-written with his wife, Anne-Marie Dorning, New England’s General Stores: Exploring an American Classic.
The general store is literally as old as America itself, and harkens back to a simpler time and a more innocent and rural nation. In tough times, it was a place that often treated customers like family, extending credit when no one else would. In short, the general store was real-life Norman Rockwell—deeply woven into America’s cultural identity, an integral part of the nation’s self-portrait from its earliest days.
Over the last 50 years, many of New England’s general stores, competing with behemoths like Wal-Mart and Target, began to disappear. But then a funny thing happened: people really missed them; in many towns, they decided to hold onto them. In talking about his new book, Reinstein will share the rich and colorful history of this iconic institution, how they figured in the rise of early American commerce, why they began to fade, and why—like another New England icon, the diner—they have begun to come back and even be re-invented and re-imagined for a new era. Told with anecdotes from a variety of local landmark stores across the region, the presentation is accompanied by the award-winning photography of Art Donahue.
The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session, and Reinstein will then sell and sign his books.
Reinstein has been a reporter for “Chronicle,” WCVB-TV/Boston’s award-winning—and America’s longest-running, locally-produced—nightly news magazine since 1997. In addition, he’s a regular contributor for the station’s political roundtable show and has been a member of the WCVB editorial board since 2010. He lives just west of Boston with Dorning and their two daughters. He also is the author of New England Notebook: One Reporter, Six States, Uncommon Stories and Wicked Pissed: New England’s Most Famous Feuds.
This free program is made possible thanks to the support of the Friends of the Middleborough Public Library.