“Maritime Richmond,” by Dale Totty; Arcadia Publishing, 2004. $19.99
Arcadia Publishing explores the history of America not with sweeping strokes, but through the images and local stories that give history color and flavor. Dale Totty adds to Arcadia’s “Images of America” series with a book that explores the rise and fall of its prominence as a port town through the 1800s. With an impressive collection of photos and drawings of the times, Totty details the engineering of the locks and canals that enabled Richmond to become a hub for commerce and established its flour mills as foremost in the nation throughout the first half of that century. Totty’s arrangement of the photos beautifully depicts the successes of technology, the self-inflicted destruction of the war, leading to the rise of railways after the war and ending the city’s control of the waterways.