Fans of Americana will be eagerly awaiting the 24th January when this thorough look at L.L. Bean is released. L.L. Bean’s story is also America’s story. The ideas and events that drove the company’s development are all related to what was happening in the wider world. From the rugged, individualistic legacy of Teddy Roosevelt in the 1910s to soldiers’ experiences in both World Wars, from the “back to the land” movement in the 1960s and 1970s that brought millions of people to the wilderness for the first time to the Preppy Handbook craze of the 1980s when the styles of New England suddenly enthralled the nation, Guaranteed to Last tells a complete and fascinating story that will engage every reader.
At the heart of the book is a fresh telling of the fascinating L.L. Bean story—the tale of how an unknown hunter, working with $400 in borrowed capital, invented a new kind of shoe and, marching to the beat of his own drum, remade the outdoor industry. And it’s a story about how the company helped America learn to love the outdoors. A brisk narrative based on fresh interviews and research by Jim Gorman, a leading travel and adventure journalist, traces the most important incidents in the company’s history, as well as the defining products and the most memorable people.
The book will feature scores of photographs, illustrations, and pieces of ephemera, including fascinating images of L.L. Bean hunting in Maine in the 1910s; the earliest mailers and catalogs that defined the look and voice of the company; personal correspondence to L.L. Bean from every era; snapshots of ordinary Americans outfitted in their L.L. Bean gear; and much more. It is both a celebration of 100 years of L.L. Bean, and a look at the essential qualities of the brand that will guide its next century.
Available to Pre Order at Amazon.