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Culture Club: The Curious History of the Boston Athenaeum

Though governed by the Boston elite, who promoted it as a way of strengthening their own clout in the city, the early Athenaeum reflected conflicting and at times contradictory aims and motives on the part of its membership. On the one hand, by drawing on European aesthetic models to reinforce an exalted sense of mission, Athenaeum leaders sought to establish themselves as guardians of a nascent American culture. On the other, they struggled to balance their goals with their concerns about an increasingly democratic urban populace.

Always Something Doing: Boston's Infamous Scollay Square

By David Kruh. All about Boston's infamous square, replaced in the 1960s by Government Center.

Boston A to Z

By Thomas H. O'Connor.
Lots of brief nuggets about Boston's history.

Boston Catholics

The often difficult but always fascinating and colorful experience of Boston Catholics is recounted in this lively history of the Archdiocese of Boston. In this engaging work, now available in paperback, Thomas H. O'Connor, the dean of Boston historians, chronicles the activities, achievements, and failures of the Church's leaders and parishioners over the course of two centuries.

Boston Riots: Three Centuries of Social Violence

By Jack Tager.
A look at how social violence has shaped Boston's history, from food uprisings in the 1700s to the 1974 busing crisis.

Boston's Histories: Essays in Honor of Thomas H. O'Connor

In a distinguished teaching and writing career that spans half a century, Thomas H. O'Connor has explored in-depth the richly layered history of his native Boston, bringing the city's diverse and fascinating heritage to a wide audience of historians and general readers alike. Now his significant contributions are celebrated in these essays by leading scholars in the field.

The broad range of histories included here build on and extend O'Connor's work, offering a new lens through which to view Boston's vibrant social, ethnic, political, and religious past.

Boston, All One Family

Photographer Bill Brett captures three generations of Boston politicians, from the White era to the reign of Tom Menino.

Cityscapes of Boston: An American City Through Time

By Robert Campbell and Peter Vanderwarker.
Campbell, the Boston Globe's Pulitzer-winning architecture critic and Vanderwarker, a photographer, take you through the history of Boston as seen through its architecture, showing how it's become a modern city even as it struggles to retain its past. Boston, like other cities, is constantly rebuilding itself. But even demolished buildings often leave echoes, through street patterns and sometimes ghostly images left on neighboring buildings.

Common Ground

By J. Anthony Lukas.
The story of the 1974 busing crisis, as told through the lens of three families.

Dark Tide

Shortly after noon on January 15, 1919, a fifty-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses collapsed on Boston"s waterfront, disgorging its contents as a fifteen-foot-high wave of molasses that briefly traveled at thirty-five miles per hour. When the tide receded, a section of the city"s North End had been transformed into a war zone. The Great Boston Molasses Flood claimed the lives of twenty-one people and scores of animals, injured 150, and caused widespread destruction.
North End

Death at an Early Age

By Jonathan Kozol.
"The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools."

Death of an American Jewish Community: A Tragedy of Good Intentions

How integration idealists and greedy bankers and real-estate kingpins destroyed the Jewish community in Mattapan, Roxbury and Dorchester in the mid 1960s.
Roxbury, Mattapan

Fort Warren: New England's Most Historic Civil War Site

Book about Fort Warren on George's Island in Boston Harbor: "Fort Warren is a pentagonal-shaped, granite fort built on an island in Boston Harbor in time for the Civil War. It defended Boston during the Spanish-American War and through World Wars I and II. Fort Warren is listed as a National Historic Landmark. It achieved its place in history primarily because of the many famous Confederate prisoners who were incarcerated within its walls. Today, more than 100,00 people visit the fort each summer. It is now the centerpiece of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park."
Boston Harbor Islands

Invented Cities: The Creation of Landscape in Nineteenth-Century New York and Boston

Why do cities look the way they do? In this fascinating exploration of the strikingly different landscapes of Boston and New York, Mona Domosh cites historical, social, and economic reasons for the shaping of each city in the nineteenth century. She contrasts Boston`s domestic landscape of parks and residences with New York`s expansive retail and financial buildings, showing how these reflect the beliefs, fears, and values of the individuals and groups who lived there.

Literary Trail of Greater Boston

Modeled after the famous Freedom Trail, Boston's new Literary Trail spans three hundred years and writers ranging from Cotton Mather to John Updike. This unusual guidebook features lively snippets of the writers' own works along with short essays by well-known contemporary writers, including Julia Child on Fannie Farmer, David McCullough on Francis Parkman, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., on W.E.B. Du Bois, and Jane Langton on the "importance of whiskers." The Literary Trail encompasses both walking and driving tours, the latter by car, public transportation, and Literary Tour buses.

Lost Boston

LOST BOSTON is a visual feast, a stunning presentation of a city's physical development, and an eloquent appeal for the preservation of what makes the city special. Bringing history to life with more than 350 photographs and prints, Jane Holtz Kay traces Boston's evolution brick by brick and block by block, creating what THE WASHINGTON POST hailed as "an elegant architectural history, excellently illustrated."

Mapping Boston

By Alex Krieger, David A. Cobb and Amy Turner. Boston's maps show the story of the city itself, growing from a small peninsula cut off from the mainland at high tide to today's bustling metropolis. This book tells that story.

Paul Revere's Ride

He started his "midnight ride" closer to 10 p.m., he never made it to Concord and he didn't yell "the British are coming!" (since back then, the colonists still considered themselves British). David Hackett Fischer, a history professor at Brandeis University, tells the real story of Revere's ride.

Political Waters: The Long, Dirty, Contentious, Incredibly Expensive, but Eventually Triumphant Hist

Sewage management is rarely as compelling and exciting as higher profile environmental issues such as global climate change, preserving endangered species, or protecting tropical rainforests. But it can be, as Eric Jay Dolin shows in this engaging narrative account. Boston' struggle to deal with its sewage is an epic story of failure and success, replete with colorful characters, political, bureaucratic, and legal twists and turns, engineering feats, and massive amounts of money. In the end, success hinged on the often overlooked yet monumentally important act of responsibly disposing of the waste people produce every day.

South Boston: My Home Town

By Thomas H. O'Connor.
A history of the neighborhood.

Streetcar Suburbs

By Sam Bass Warner. How streetcar lines at the turn of the century helped Boston expand outward - and brought the teeming masses to the wilderness of places such as Roslindale and Brookline.
Jamaica Plain, Roslindale

The Boston Irish

By Thomas H. O'Connor. Settling in a city founded by the Puritans, the Irish of Boston evolved into one of America's most distinctive ethnic communities - and eventually came to dominate local politics. This book chronicles the growth of Irish political power in Boston.

The Devil in Massachusetts

"This historical narrative of the Salem witch trials takes its dialogue from actual trial records but applies modern psychiatric knowledge to the witchcraft hysteria. Starkey's sense of drama also vividly recreates the atmosphere of pity and terror that fostered the evil and suffering of this human tragedy."

The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

By Sebastian Junger.
Those who go down to the sea in ships sometimes don't come back. Junger recreates the last hours of a Massachusetts fishing boat caught in a 1991 Atlantic storm that was possibly the worst in the century.

The Proper Bostonians

By Cleveland Amory. Cabots and Lowells and Lawrences. Written some 50 years ago, this book remains the classic study of that breed known as the Boston Brahmin. Living in a world bordered on one side by Tremont Street (no Boston gentleman, it was said, drank before noon or east of Tremont) and on the other by Harvard, the Brahmins ruled Massachusetts. Amory gently (sometimes!) dissects them and their foibles.

The Rascal King

Twice-jailed scoundrel and the people's champion, builder of hospitals and schools and shameless grafter, compelling orator and master of political farce, James Michael Curley was the stuff of legend long before his life became fiction in Edwin O'Connor's classic novel The Last Hurrah. As mayor of Boston, as congressman, as governor of Massachusetts, Curley rose from the Irish slums in a career extending from the Progressive Era of Teddy Roosevelt to the ascendancy of JFK. Beatty's spellbinding story of this remarkable man - and of his city, his people, and his times - is biography at its best.

What They Never Told You About Boston (Or What They Did That Were Lies)

By Walt Kelley. Local taxi driver sets the record straight on Boston history.

Freshness date: This page was last updated on: Thu Dec 31 2009 at 09:22:00.