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“I Was Content and Not Content”: The Story of Linda Lord and the Closing of Penobscot Poultry


“[A] compassionate and sorely needed book.”
–Anthony Walton
The New York Times Book Review

"Linda Lord's story goes to the heart of what it's like to work at producing the chicken that graces America's table. This remarkable book deals with a poultry plant closing and more. It is a deeply personal story of one woman, her workplace and the community of Belfast, Maine. It is a social study and more. The pictures and interviews tell the story in a gripping way, and Carolyn Chute's essay is priceless. I love Linda, and I treasure this book."
–The Reverend Jim Lewis
Poultry Reform Activist

'I Was Content and Not Content' is a strikingly original combination of oral history interviews, vivid photographs, and astute commentary. It provides an intimate and revealing look at the local effects of the globalization of industry while, at the same time, raising critical issues for anyone interested in collaborative oral history."
–Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Director
Southern Oral History Program

'I Was Content and Not Content' is the deeply personal story of a woman rooted for generations in Maine, who is changed forever as a result of the re-structuring of the global economy. Through the oral history storytelling tradition and through stunning photographs, Rouverol’s character grounds abstractions on the theories of globalizations within a personal and local context. It is a work of art and a work of oral history that would inspire discussion in a library, classroom, lecture hall or living room."
–Diana Cohn
Author and Educator

"Probably no one involved with the writing of the book 'I Was Content and Not Content' could know that it would be forecasting events that have taken place again and again in rural communities of the Southeast all the way to Mississippi, Texas, and Oklahoma.

Between 2003 and 2005, the South has suffered the outright closing of local textile and knitting mills, furniture factories, consolidation in the poultry industry and the cancellation of a way of life for tobacco farmers—some whose families have lived for six generations on the same land.

While local news covered each of these events well and gave a brief glimpse of the problems facing the local farmers and small town folks who worked in the plants, the same long term dilemma and individual tragedies described in the study of the closing of Maine’s Penobscot Poultry plant have unfolded here.

A good read of this book gives one an appreciation for the personal effect of such industrial shifts. It helps to explain to unsympathetic observers why most folks with roots so deep can’t or won’t leave their homes in search of other work in spite of the hardships they endure. Fortunately, some states are working diligently to find other industries to replace those lost and to train the unemployed for new jobs."
–Mary Clouse
Rural Advancement Foundation International
Former Poultry Grower and Activist