Learning to Be Modern: Martha’s Vineyard 1921-2021

The Vineyard became modern neither by slow, steady change nor by the short, sharp shock of a revolution. The transformation had many causes: a fleet of elegant steamers, a global war, a political scandal, and a blockbuster movie. It was heralded by the smell of hot asphalt, the glow of electric lights at Gay Head, and the cheers of fans at the first Vineyard Cup football game. It erased lines that had divided the Island for centuries and created new ones that continue to divide it today. It linked the Island, permanently and perpetually, to the wider world. Martha’s Vineyard, as everyone now alive knows it, was born in the hundred years from 1921 to 2021. This is the story of that tumultuous century.