Moondoggle is about the Passamaquoddy Bay Tidal Power Project, “known affectionately or otherwise, as ‘Quoddy.’” Quoddy was designed in the Roaring 1920s by Dexter Cooper, who with his brother Hugh, built the world’s four largest hydroelectric power plants. Construction of Quoddy began during the Great Depression as part of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” in the 1930s. Then “Quoddy was killed.”
“Who killed Quoddy?”—that’s been a mystery for nearly a century. Was it Roosevelt’s rivals and presidential wannabes? Or the man who caused the biggest bankruptcy in US history? Was it one of Maine’s leading citizens or elected officials? Was it sabotage by one of the US Army Corps of Engineers who was building it? Or did FDR himself quietly kill Quoddy?
Written as a “Who done it?”, Moondoggle lays bare the suspects’ motives and means. Moondoggle’s insights are based on exhaustive research, never-before published family letters, and formerly classified government documents.
Quoddy exemplified the challenges faced by inventors of disruptive technologies versus the status quo. Quoddy was tremendously controversial because it highlighted the contest for control of America’s rivers by privately-owned “public utility” monopolies versus trust-busting “public power” advocates. The arguments over Quoddy became confused and vicious as tidal waves of “fake news” overwhelmed the facts. Cast as a life-or-death contest between Communism and Capitalism, Quoddy became a national issue in Republican versus Democrat political fights and the 1936 presidential election.
Quoddy’s genesis and fate were in fact entangled in global armed conflicts, including World Wars I & II. Quoddy’s ghost lurks in the shadows of Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
Quoddy generated hundreds of articles in regional and national publications, including the Boston Globe, New Yok Times, Time, Newsweek, Saturday Evening Post, and National Geographic. It was fascinating reading then—and now.