Thomaston’s Civil War monument is discussed and illustrated in a new book recently published by the Edwin Mellen Press. “Column Monuments: Commemorative and Memorial Column Monuments from Ancient Times to the Twenty-First Century: A History and Guide” contains 1,179 pages of text and 917 black-and-white illustrations; and comes in five hardcover volumes, with color covers.

The book, a quarter century in the making, features artistic appreciation, detail and overall photos; and puts the Midcoast monument in the context of the entire column monument movement — from ancient times to the present. The authors are Janina K. Darling (Professor Emerita, University of California at Santa Cruz) and Daniel D. Reiff (SUNY Fredonia Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus).

“Column monuments are found all over the world and often are by distinguished architects and sculptors of the day,” said Reiff. “While ‘icons’ of many European cities — such as London, Rome, Paris, or Barcelona — they can be found throughout America, too.”

The account of Thomaston’s monument includes historical data on its creation; interesting background research and context; and its relation to other memorials using the same model:

“It is interesting to note that the soldier is identical to the comparable figures on both the Easton, Pennsylvania, and Dehli, New York memorial, as well as a single figure on a tall pedestal in Thomaston, Maine, nearly 400 miles to the northeast. This comparison is clear evidence of then widespread use of stock figures produced in significant numbers by granite companies and shipped to almost every part of the country — North and South.”

Of the 286 monuments discussed and illustrated from 36 countries, 98 are located in the United States, from Boston and New York; to Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and San Francisco.

“They are often an overlooked artistic and cultural legacy,” said Reiff.”

For more information about the book, visit mellenpress.com.