The Story of Darien Connecticut – Kenneth M. Reiss


Title: The Story of Darien, Connecticut
Author: Kenneth M. Reiss
Contributor: Darien Historical Society
Publisher: Darien Historical Society, 2009

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Limited to 1000 copies. Darien's first history book, which (author) Reiss describes as a collection of stories rather than a textbook of facts. "Rather than writing a conventional history filled with as many dates, places and names and whatnot as I could get, I wanted to talk about the various trends and events and things that have made the town evolve over the years," said Reiss, a former president of the Darien Historical Society. "Most local histories are written about the effects, but I wanted to talk about the causes also," he said. "In a little town like this, and it is a small town still, so much of what does happen happens because of things that take place elsewhere and I wanted to show how those things shaped the town and how the town reacts." One such effect is the rise of Darien as a "commuter suburb." Reiss examines this outcome and its relationship to the invention of the automobile as well as the installation of Interstate 95 in the 1950s. "It's as if it was a chain and each little link is a separate story. If anybody wants to start at the beginning and read all the way through, they're certainly welcome to do that. But my assumption is with a book like this and a town like this, more people would prefer to open it up someplace and read a few pages," he said. "They can do that because each of these links is a free-standing story."