by Thomas H. O'Connor
Harvard University Press, 2002
Cloth: 978-0-674-00942-4
Library of Congress Classification F73.25.O28 2002
Dewey Decimal Classification 920.074461


The history of Boston is inseparable from the life stories of its people--from the Puritans and Native Americans of the seventeenth century to the civic leaders and celebrities of today. In Eminent Bostonians, Thomas H. O'Connor, the preeminent historian of Boston, offers a personal selection of entertaining and enlightening brief lives of notable residents of the city.

Eminent Bostonians includes some 130 figures of local and national significance from the arts, literature, religion, politics, science and medicine, business, education, and sports. Some would be on every list of prominent Bostonians, and some will come as a genuine surprise. As at a large dinner party, part of the fun is seeing who is seated next to whom: the fictional Proper Bostonian George Apley, a creation of John P. Marquand, followed by Anthony Athanas, the Albanian immigrant owner of Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant, followed by Crispus Attucks, a victim of the Boston Massacre in 1770. Or Lucy Stone, a pioneering feminist, next to Gilbert Stuart, the eighteenth-century portraitist, next to John L. Sullivan, the early-twentieth-century champion boxer. Or the Red Sox legend Ted Williams between Phillis Wheatley, an eighteenth-century African-American poet, and the Puritan founder John Winthrop.

And so it goes, from Abigail Adams to Leonard P. Zakim: a gallery of Brahmins and immigrants, workers and scholars, reformers and reactionaries, dreamers and schemers. Eminent Bostonians introduces longtime residents and newcomers alike to their neighbors--those who made Boston what it was and what it is today.

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