Port Town is the new epic history book about the how the people of Long Beach built, defended and profited from their port. Written by maritime journalists George and Carmela Cunningham, the book will be launched June 20 at the Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s annual fundraiser.
“We asked industry and local writers to review the Port Town manuscript,” said Doug Drummond, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, “and they agree, the book tells a great story.”
“Richly detailed, well researched, and thorough,” says D.J. Waldie, author of Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles and his personal history of Lakewood, Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir. “Port Town is the history of the Port of Long Beach that future historians will turn to first.”
“Port Town is about much more than just the Port of Long Beach,” says Harry Saltzgaver, Executive Editor of the Gazette Newspapers of Long Beach, and author of Passionately Positive: the Beverly O’Neill Story. “The Cunninghams tell the story of Long Beach’s beginnings and growth as a city with depth and clarity. It’s a treat to see how these names so familiar to us today have their roots in the men and families who founded our town. The Cunninghams connect the dots and fill in the gaps to create a complete and fascinating picture of the port’s and Long Beach’s beginning and growth.”
“Carmela and George Cunningham have woven a tale about the history of the Port of Long Beach which is fascinating as well as entertaining,” says John McLaurin, President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, who writes a blog on the maritime industry.
“Port Town is a must read for anyone wanting to understand how the Port of Long Beach grew from mud flats to one of the world’s greatest ports,” says Rich Archbold, Public Editor at the Press-Telegram, and at one time George’s boss at the P-T. “George and Carmela Cunningham have written the authoritative book on the history of the port complete with colorful characters and fascinating detail. It is entertaining and informative storytelling at its best.”
The publication of Port Town will be celebrated at the Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s 12th annual “Grape Expectations” benefit June 20. The gala at the Terrace Theater will kick off several special events including lectures and historical harbor tours. The Port is also partnering with the Historical Society of Long Beach on a gallery exhibit from Aug. 7 to Nov. 6 showcasing the Port’s history. The exhibit will be at the Historical Society gallery at 4260 Atlantic Ave.
The book will be available to the public soon after the June 20 launch in e-book and print-on-demand format; a limited hardcover edition will be available at the Historical Society exhibit.
You can keep up to date with all of these book-related events on this site or by following the Port on social media.