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Synopsis

To most of us "wash-ashores," the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are resort destinations, summer homes for the Kennedys, the Obamas, and--yes--Bill Belichick. But the year-rounders see a different picture.

After the tourists and jetsetters leave, the cold weather descends, and the local shop owners, carpenters, and fishermen ready themselves for the main event: high school football. For over fifty years, the local teams been locked in a fierce rivalry. They play for pride, a trophy, and very often, a shot at the league championship. Despite their tiny populations, both islands are dangerous on the football field.

In this far-reaching book, James Sullivan tells the story not only of the Whaler-Vineyarder rivalry, but of two places without a country. Filled with empty houses nine months of the year, Nantucket and the Vineyard have long, unique histories that include such oddities as an attempt to secede from the U.S., and the invention of a proprietary sign language. Delving into the rich history of both places, Sullivan paints a picture of a bygone New England, a place that has never stopped fighting for its life--and for the rights to coveted Island Cup.

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