Achieving Against The Odds
edited by Esther Kingston-Mann and Tim Sieber Temple University Press, 2001 Library of Congress LC3727.A34 2001 | Dewey Decimal 378.19829
"High school was like a penance imposed for some unknown sin. Everything I ever learned that was important was learned outside of school. So I never thought to associate schools with learning." (Amy, UMass Boston student)
Today's diverse and financially burdened students enter higher education eager to succeed at institutions originally designed for culturally homogenous and predominantly white middle-class populations. They are expected to learn from faculty trained primarily as researchers. Unsurprisingly, student dropout and faculty burnout rates are high, leading some conservatives to demand that higher education purge itself of "unqualified" students and teachers. But, as Achieving Against the Odds demonstrates, new and better solutions emerge once we assume that both faculty and students still possess a mutual potential for learning when they meet in the college classroom.
This collection -- drawing on the experiences of faculty at the University of Massachusetts-Boston -- documents a complex and challenging process of pedagogical transformation. The contributors come from a wide range of disciplines -- American studies, anthropology, Asian American studies, English, ESL, history, language, political science, psychology, sociology, and theology. Like their students, they bring a variety of backgrounds into the classroom -- as people of color, women, gays, working class people, and "foreigners" of one sort or another. Together they have engaged in an exciting struggle to devise pedagogies which respond to the needs and life experiences of their students and to draw each of them into a dialogue with the content and methodology of their disciplines. Courageously airing their own mistakes and weaknesses alongside their breakthroughs, they illuminate for the reader a process of teaching transformation by which discipline-trained scholars discover how to promote the learning of diverse students.
As one reads their essays, one is struck by how much these faculty have benefited from the insights they have gleaned from colleagues as well as students. Through argument and examples, personal revelation and references as well as students. Through argument and examples, personal revelation and references to authority, they draw the reader into their community. This is a book to inspire and enlighten everyone interested in making higher education more truly democratic, inclusive and intellectually challenging for today's students.
Most histories of American architecture after H. H. Richardson have emphasized the work of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in the Middle West. By examining instead the legacy of three highly successful architects who were in practice simultaneously in New England and Western Pennsylvania from 1886 into the 1920s, Margaret Henderson Floyd underscores the architectural significance of another part of the nation.
Floyd critically' assesses the careers, works, and patronage of Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Frank Ellis Alden, and Alfred Branch Harlow. Longfellow and Alden were senior draftsmen in H. H. Richardson's office, and Harlow worked with McKim, Mead & White in New York, Newport, and Boston. After Richardson's death, the three set up their own practice with offices in Boston and Pittsburgh, and these offices eventually became two separate practices. Over the years, their commissions included scores of city and country residences for the elite of both regions as well as major institutional and business buildings such as those at Harvard and Radcliffe, the Cambridge City Hall, and Pittsburgh's Duquesne Club and Carnegie Institute.
Placing these architects in a broader context of American architectural and landscape history, Floyd uncovers a strong cultural affinity between turn-of-the-century Boston and Pittsburgh. She also reveals an unsuspected link between the path of modernism from Richardson to Wright and the evolution of anti-modern imagery manifested in regionalism. Floyd thus combines her analysis of the work of Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow with a critique of mid-twentieth-century historiography to expose connections between New England regionalism, the arts and crafts movement, and such innovators as Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller.
Many people are generally familiar with the fact that Boston was once known as "the Athens of America." Very few, however, are clear about exactly why, except for their recollections of the famous writers and poets who gave the city a reputation for literature and learning.
In this book, historian Thomas H. O'Connor sets the matter straight by showing that Boston's eminence during the first half of the nineteenth century was the result of a much broader community effort. After the nation emerged from its successful struggle for independence, most Bostonians visualized their city not only as the Cradle of Liberty, but also as the new world's Cradle of Civilization.
According to O'Connor, a leadership elite, composed of men of prominent family background, Unitarian beliefs, liberal education, and managerial experience in a variety of enterprises, used their personal talents and substantial financial resources to promote the cultural, intellectual, and humanitarian interests of Boston to the point where it would be the envy of the nation. Not only did writers, scholars, and philosophers see themselves as part of this process, but so did physicians and lawyers, ministers and teachers, merchants and businessmen, mechanics and artisans, all involved in creating a well-ordered city whose citizens would be committed to the ideals of social progress and personal perfectibility.
To accomplish their noble vision, leading members of the Boston community joined in programs designed to cleanse the old town of what they felt were generations of accumulated social stains and human failures, and then to create new programs and more efficient institutions that would raise the cultural and intellectual standards of all its citizens. Like ancient Athens, Boston would be a city of great statesmen, wealthy patrons, inspiring artists, and profound thinkers, headed by members of the "happy and respectable classes" who would assume responsibility for the safety, welfare, and education of the "less prosperous portions of the community."
Designed for the general reader and the historical enthusiast, The Athens of America is an interpretive synthesis that explores the numerous secondary sources that have concentrated on individual subjects and personalities, and draws their various conclusions into a single comprehensive narrative.
In 2002, the national spotlight fell on Boston’s archdiocese, where decades of rampant sexual misconduct from priests—and the church’s systematic cover-ups—were exposed by reporters from the Boston Globe. The sordid and tragic stories of abuse and secrecy led many to leave the church outright and others to rekindle their faith and deny any suggestions of institutional wrongdoing. But a number of Catholics vowed to find a middle ground between these two extremes: keeping their faith while simultaneously working to change the church for the better.
Beyond Betrayal charts a nationwide identity shift through the story of one chapter of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), an organization founded in the scandal’s aftermath. VOTF had three goals: helping survivors of abuse; supporting priests who were either innocent or took risky public stands against the wrongdoers; and pursuing a broad set of structural changes in the church. Patricia Ewick and Marc W. Steinberg follow two years in the life of one of the longest-lived and most active chapters of VOTF, whose thwarted early efforts at ecclesiastical reform led them to realize that before they could change the Catholic Church, they had to change themselves. The shaping of their collective identity is at the heart of Beyond Betrayal, an ethnographic portrait of how one group reimagined their place within an institutional order and forged new ideas of faith in the wake of widespread distrust.
On a warm and golden afternoon, October 4, 1960, a Lockheed Electra jet turboprop carrying 72 souls took off from Logan Airport. Seconds later, the plane slammed into a flock of 10,000 starlings, and abruptly plummeted into Winthrop Harbor. The collision took 62 lives and gave rise to the largest rescue mobilization in Boston’s history, which included civilians in addition to police, firefighters, skindivers, and Navy and Coast Guard air-sea rescue teams. Largely because of the quick action and good seamanship of Winthrop citizens, many of them boys in small boats, ten passengers survived what the Civil Aeronautics Board termed “a non-survivable crash.” Using firsthand interviews with survivors of the crash, rescuers, divers, aeronautics experts, and ornithologists, as well as a wide range of primary source material, Kalafatas foregrounds the story of the crash and its aftermath to anchor a broader inquiry into developments in the aeronautics industry, the increase in the number of big birds in the skies of North America, and the increasing danger of “bird strikes.” Along the way he looks into interesting historical sidelights such as the creation of Logan Airport, the transformation of Boston’s industrial base to new technologies, and the nature of journalistic investigations in the early 1960s. The book is a rare instance when an author can simultaneously write about a fascinating historical event and a clear and present danger today. Kalafatas calls for and itemizes solutions that protect both birds and the traveling public.
In the 1920s and 1930s Boston became a rich and distinctive site of African American artistic production, unfolding at the same time as the Harlem Renaissance and encompassing literature, theater, music, and visual art. Owing to the ephemeral nature of much of this work, many of the era's primary sources have been lost.
In this book, Lorraine Elena Roses employs archival sources and personal interviews to recover this artistic output, examining the work of celebrated figures such as Dorothy West, Helene Johnson, Meta Warrick Fuller, and Allan Rohan Crite, as well as lesser-known artists including Eugene Gordon, Ralf Coleman, Gertrude "Toki" Schalk, and Alvira Hazzard. Black Bostonians and the Politics of Culture, 1920–1940 demonstrates how this creative community militated against the color line not solely through powerful acts of civil disobedience but also by way of a strong repertoire of artistic projects.
How a New England Port City Became the Site of the Revolution That Changed the History of the World
In 1760, no one could imagine the American colonies revolting against Great Britain. The colonists were not hungry peasants groaning under the whip of a brute. They lived well. Land was cheap, wages were good, opportunities abounded. While many colonists had been in the New World for generations, they identified with Britain, and England was still “home.” Yet in the space of just fifteen years these sturdy bonds snapped. Boston—a town of just 16,000—lit the fire for American Independence. Brian Deming explains how and why in his lucid, lively, and deeply researched Boston and the Dawn of American Independence.
To dodge British taxes, Boston merchants for as long as anyone could remember had routinely smuggled in molasses from French and Spanish possessions in the Caribbean. Boston distillers transformed this sweet cargo into rum, the liquid gold traded around the world. But British authorities cracked down on smuggling and imposed the Sugar Act to help pay for the debts incurred during their wars against France. Then came the hated Stamp Act, a tax on documents, newspapers, and printed materials of all kinds. In courtrooms, in the press, and in the streets, Bostonians rallied in protest against taxation without representation. As anger swept America, Boston was at the center of the storm, which burst forth with the infamous massacre and the Boston Tea Party. By 1775, open warfare erupted at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. Boston and the Dawn of American Independence ties these scenes together with the people of the time, including John and Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere, as well as Thomas Hutchinson, the beleaguered Massachusetts royal governor, and James Otis, the bombastic, unstable early patriot. Readers hear their voices, but also those of many amazing, colorful, and memorable personalities— feisty mob leaders, defiant Tories, terrified townspeople. Deming illuminates this epic story with views of everyday life inside taverns, outside newspaper offices, and along the wharves, and the political dramas in London and Philadelphia that shaped the destiny of an empire and gave rise to the world’s first modern democracy.
Veteran journalists Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge have written the definitive inside look at the Boston Marathon bombings with a unique, Boston-based account of the events that riveted the world. From the Tsarnaev brothers’ years leading up to the act of terror to the bomb scene itself (which both authors witnessed first-hand within minutes of the blast), from the terrifying police shootout with the suspects to the ultimate capture of the younger brother, Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy reports all the facts—and so much more. Based on months of intensive interviews, this is the first book to tell the entire story through the eyes of those who experienced it. From the cop first on the scene, to the detectives assigned to the manhunt, the authors provide a behind-the-scenes look at the investigation. More than a true-crime book, Boston Strong also tells the tragic but ultimately life-affirming story of the victims and their recoveries and gives voice to those who lost loved ones. With their extensive reporting, writing experience, and deep ties to the Boston area, Sherman and Wedge create the perfect match of story, place, and authors. If you’re only going to read one book on this tragic but uplifting story, this is it.
Boston Strong is a commemorative chapbook that beautifully reproduces Richard Blanco’s poignant poem presented May 30, 2013 at the benefit concert to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occured on April 15, 2013 during the Boston Marathon.
The net proceeds from the sale of this book benefit The One Fund Boston.
The One Fund Boston was established through the generosity of businesses, foundations, and individual donors. The Victim Relief Fund of The One Fund Boston will be used to assist those families of the victims who were killed and the victims who were most seriously affected as a result of the tragic events during the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, and related events on April 18 and April 19.
Boston: Voices and Visions
Shaun O'Connell University of Massachusetts Press, 2010 Library of Congress PS509.B665B67 2010 | Dewey Decimal 810.80974461
"New England was founded consciously, and in no fit of absence of mind," observed historian Samuel Eliot Morison on the establishment of the Bay Colony in 1630 on the narrow, mountainous Shawmut peninsula of what became Massachusetts. That self-conscious presence of mind has endured for four centuries. Boston has been shaped and sustained by observation, imagination, and interpretation. As a result, the evolving vision of Boston has yielded a compelling literary record.
In this wide-ranging anthology, Shaun O'Connell includes a generous sampling of those who have recorded, revised, and redefined the vision of Boston. Anne Bradstreet, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary Antin, Edwin O'Connor, John Updike, and many others eloquently evoke and explain Boston in these pages.
From John Winthrop's "city upon a hill" sermon, delivered aboard the Arbella before his followers landed in 1630 in the place they would call Boston, to Robert Lowell's "For the Union Dead," a poem delivered in Boston's Public Garden in 1960, writers have continued to invoke the high purposes for which the city was founded, sometimes in praise of the city, but often in what Robert Frost named a "lover's quarrel," in works that called attention to the city's failures to fulfill its promises. In the twenty-first century some writers continue to celebrate or to castigate the city, while others look back to Boston's origins to reassess its founders and renew its covenant of high purpose.
This is an interpretive anthology—one that includes commentary as well as writings. Section introductions provide historical and biographical context, offer analysis that stresses the thematic relevance of each selection, and explore the pattern of their relations. Rather than present a random array of writers who happen to have been Greater Bostonians, O'Connell focuses on those authors who possessed a commitment to the sense of place, those who addressed Boston not only as a geographical, social, and political entity but as an image, idea, and site of symbolic values
From 1877 to 1896, the popularity of bicycles increased exponentially, and Boston was in on it from the start. The Boston Bicycle Club was the first in the nation, and the city's cyclists formed the nucleus of a new national organization, the League of American Wheelmen. The sport was becoming a craze, and Massachusetts had the largest per capita membership in the league in the 1890s and the largest percentage of women members. Several prominent cycling magazines were published in Boston, making cycling a topic of press coverage and a growing cultural influence as well as a form of recreation.
Lorenz J. Finison explores the remarkable rise of Boston cycling through the lives of several participants, including Kittie Knox, a biracial twenty-year-old seamstress who challenged the color line; Mary Sargent Hopkins, a self-proclaimed expert on women's cycling and publisher of The Wheelwoman; and Abbot Bassett, a longtime secretary of the League of American Wheelman and a vocal cycling advocate for forty years. Finison shows how these riders and others interacted on the road and in their cycling clubhouses, often constrained by issues of race, class, religion, and gender. He reveals the challenges facing these riders, whether cycling for recreation or racing, in a time of segregation, increased immigration, and debates about the rights of women.
As Boston approaches its four-hundredth anniversary, it is remarkable that it still maintains its historic character despite constant development. The fifty buildings featured in this book all pre-date 1800 and illustrate Boston’s early history. This is the first book to survey Boston’s fifty oldest buildings and does so through an approachable narrative which will appeal to nonarchitects and those new to historic preservation. Beginning with a map of the buildings’ locations and an overview of the historic preservation movement in Boston, the book looks at the fifty buildings in order from oldest to most recent. Geographically, the majority of the buildings are located within the downtown area of Boston along the Freedom Trail and within easy walking distance from the core of the city. This makes the book an ideal guide for tourists, and residents of the city will also find it interesting as it includes numerous properties in the surrounding neighborhoods. The buildings span multiple uses from homes to churches and warehouses to restaurants. Each chapter features a building, a narrative focusing on its historical significance, and the efforts made to preserve it over time. Full color photos and historical drawings illustrate each building and area. Boston’s Oldest Buildings and Where to Find Them presents the ideals of historic preservation in an approachable and easy-to-read manner appropriate for the broadest audience. Perfect for history lovers, architectural enthusiasts, and tourists alike.
At the end of the nineteenth century, cycling's popularity surged in the Boston area, but by 1900, the trend faded. Within the next few decades, automobiles became commonplace and roads were refashioned to serve them. Lorenz J. Finison argues that bicycling witnessed a renaissance in the 1970s as concerns over physical and environmental health coalesced. Whether cyclists hit the roads on their way to work or to work out, went off-road in the mountains or to race via cyclocross and BMX, or took part in charity rides, biking was back in a major way.
Finison traces the city's cycling history, chronicling the activities of environmental and social justice activists, stories of women breaking into male-dominated professions by becoming bike messengers and mechanics, and challenges faced by African American cyclists. Making use of newspaper archives, newly discovered records of local biking organizations, and interviews with Boston-area bicyclists and bike builders, Boston's Twentieth-Century Bicycling Renaissance brings these voices and battles back to life.
Noam Maggor shows how the moneyed elite in Gilded Age Boston leveraged their wealth to forge transcontinental networks of commodities, labor, and transportation. With the decline of cotton-based textile manufacturing, these gentleman bankers found new business opportunities in the mines, railroads, and industries of the Great West.
Life at Brook Farm resembled an Arcadian adventure, in which the days began with the choir singing Mozart and Haydn and ended with drama and dancing. But how accurate is this image? In the first comprehensive examination of the famous utopian community in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, Sterling Delano reveals a surprisingly grim side to paradise as the Brook Farmers faced relentless financial pressures, a declining faith in their leaders, and smoldering class antagonisms.
Delano weaves through this remarkable story the voices of the Brook Farmers themselves, including their founder, George Ripley. Ripley founded Brook Farm in 1841 as an agrarian and pastoral society that would "insure a more natural union between intellectual and manual labor," yet he was surprisingly unprepared to lead it. Three years after its founding, Brook Farm was transformed into an industrial Phalanx. Longtime members departed, and key supporters withdrew. A smallpox scare, a financial lawsuit filed by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and a devastating fire all contributed to the community's ultimate demise. Despite its failure, however, the Brook Farmers recalled only its positive aspects, including the opportunities there for women and its progressive educational program.
In his wonderfully evocative account, Delano gives us a more complete picture than ever before of Brook Farm, and vividly chronicles the spirit of the Transcendental age.
Reviews of this book: Brook Farm is one of America's most famous utopian experiments. Located on a 200-acre dairy farm in Roxbury, Massachusetts, it was founded in 1841, a time of social ferment for women's rights, abolition, and worker's rights...Days of laboring in the fields began with classical music and ended with dramatic plays. Supporters included Nathanial Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Margaret Fuller. Despite enthusiasm for the project, it failed after six years, primarily due to financial stress...Drawing on correspondence, documents, journals, and newspaper accounts, Delano also highlights the personal and class tensions that doomed the experiment. This is a compelling look at the history of progressive social movements in America and the failure of one of the best-known experiments. --Vanessa Bush, Booklist
In his copiously researched, briskly narrated chronicle of Brook Farm's life and times, Sterling Delano capably recaptures the exuberant mood of possibility surrounding the utopian community's founding and brief but celebrated career. --Chris Lehmann, Washington Post
Brook Farm removes the mist and moonshine that hitherto has obscured America's most famous utopian experiment. This engaging history restores the full texture of this fascinating incarnation of American idealism. --Philip F. Gura, William S. Newman Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of North Carolina
There is a clear need for a study of Brook Farm that offers a humanistic perspective on the utopian experiment. This book fills that gap. In this comprehensive history, Sterling Delano sheds fascinating light on the values and attitudes of leading Transcendentalists. --Steven Mintz, co-editor of The Boisterous Sea of Liberty
Transcendentalism is one of the most famous movements in American history, but astonishingly there has never been a modern history of one of its most significant chapters, the commune at Brook Farm. At long last, Sterling Delano has filled that gap very ably indeed. --Lawrence Buell, author of Literary Transcendentalism and Emerson
Going beyond the usual sunny pictures of Brook Farm, Delano tells the full story of what Nathaniel Hawthorne termed 'the inner truth and spirit of the whole affair.' This is the book on Brook Farm, essential reading for anyone interested in utopian studies and the Transcendentalists. --Joel Myerson, Carolina Distinguished Professor of American Literature, Emeritus, University of South Carolina, and editor of Transcendentalism: A Reader and The Later Lectures of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Much of Boston's rich heritage of Victorian buildings dates from the mid-nineteenth century when Gridley James Fox Bryant (1816–1899) dominated the profession of architecture in the city. At that time, Boston was undergoing a transformation from a quaint post-colonial town to a rapidly expanding Victorian metropolis. Bryant led this transformation, providing an important link between the earlier architecture of Charles Bulfinch and Alexander Parris and the later work of such practitioners as H. H. Richardson and Peabody & Stearns.
In Building Victorian Boston, Roger Reed focuses on representative projects by Bryant, presenting them in a chronological narrative that both illuminates the trajectory of his career and creates a portrait of the profession of architecture during a defining period of New England history. Bryant designed more major buildings in Boston from 1840 to 1880 than any other architect. He also undertook commissions throughout New
England, especially in towns linked to Boston by newly constructed railroad lines. In many ways, his practice presaged aspects of modern architectural firms. His ability to work with a variety of designers, his expertise in construction management, and his exceptional talent for self-promotion all contributed to his success. Although by the time of his death his work was no longer fashionable, newspaper accounts noted the passing of the "Famed Bostonian" and "Great Builder" whose career had had such a dramatic impact on the face of the city.
For this volume, Reed has tracked down hundreds of Bryant's drawings as well as specifications, letters, newspaper articles, published renderings, and historical photographs. These materials are amply represented in this book, the definitive study of a quintessential Victorian architect.
In 1836, an enslaved six-year-old girl named Med was brought to Boston by a woman from New Orleans who claimed her as property. Learning of the girl's arrival in the city, the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society (BFASS) waged a legal fight to secure her freedom and affirm the free soil of Massachusetts. While Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw ruled quite narrowly in the case that enslaved people brought to Massachusetts could not be held against their will, BFASS claimed a broad victory for the abolitionist cause, and Med was released to the care of a local institution. When she died two years later, celebration quickly turned to silence, and her story was soon forgotten. As a result, Commonwealth v. Aves is little known outside of legal scholarship. In this book, Karen Woods Weierman complicates Boston's identity as the birthplace of abolition and the cradle of liberty, and restores Med to her rightful place in antislavery history by situating her story in the context of other writings on slavery, childhood, and the law.
Welcome to Boston in the early years of the republic. Prepare to journey by stagecoach with a young man moving to the “bustling city”; stop by a tavern for food, drink, and conversation; eavesdrop on clerks and customers in a dry-goods shop; get stuck in what might have been Boston’s first traffic jam; and enjoy arch comments about spouses, doctors, lawyers, politicians, and poets. As Paul Lewis and his students at Boston College reveal, regional vernacular poetry—largely overlooked or deemed of little or no artistic value—provides access to the culture and daily life of the city. Selected from over 4,500 poems published during the early national period, the works presented here, mostly anonymous, will carry you back to Old Boston to hear the voices of its long-forgotten citizen poets. A rich collection of lost poetry that will beguile locals and visitors alike.
East Boston has long been known as an Italian neighborhood and Southie as an Irish one, while nearby North Quincy has seen in recent decades an influx of Chinese Americans and immigrants. Such urban spaces in America can become intimately intertwined with ethnic identities (Little Italy, Greektown, Chinatown, Little Havana). Yet local residents often readily acknowledge an underlying diversity—both historically and as a result of more recent changes—that complicates such stereotypes.
Digging into the ever-shifting terrain of American ethnicity and urban spaces, Anthony Bak Buccitelli investigates folk practices, social memory, and local histories in three Boston-area neighborhoods. He looks at the ways locals represent their neighborhoods and themselves via events, symbols, stories, and landmarks, from the shamrock to the Chinese flag, whether the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Southie or the Columbus Day parade in East Boston, from urban graffiti and websites to the Dorchester Heights Monument. City of Neighborhoods exposes the processes of selection and emphasis that produce, sustain, challenge, and change understandings of urban spaces as ethnic places.
Honorable mention, Wayland Hand Prize for Folklore and History, American Folklore Society
From the 1950s to the end of the twentieth century, Boston transformed from a city in freefall into a thriving metropolis, as modern glass skyscrapers sprouted up in the midst of iconic brick rowhouses. After decades of corruption and graft, a new generation of politicians swept into office, seeking to revitalize Boston through large-scale urban renewal projects. The most important of these was a new city hall, which they hoped would project a bold vision of civic participation. The massive Brutalist building that was unveiled in 1962 stands apart—emblematic of the city's rebirth through avant-garde design.
And yet Boston City Hall frequently ranks among the country's ugliest buildings. Concrete Changes seeks to answer a common question for contemporary viewers: How did this happen? In a lively narrative filled with big personalities and newspaper accounts, Brian M. Sirman argues that this structure is more than a symbol of Boston's modernization; it acted as a catalyst for political, social, and economic change.
A Confederate Chronicle presents the remarkable life of Thomas L. Wragg, who served in both the Confederate army and navy and endured incarceration as a prisoner of war. After the war, he undertook a series of jobs, eventually becoming a physician. In 1889, he died tragically at the hands of a man who mistakenly thought he was defending his family’s honor. Pamela Chase Hain uses Wragg’s letters home to his family, friends, and fiancée, as well as his naval notebook and newspaper articles, to give readers direct insight into his life and the lives of those around him.
The son of a respected Savannah physician, Wragg was born into a life of wealth and privilege. A nonconscripted soldier, he left home at eighteen to join the front lines in Virginia. From there, he sent letters home describing the maneuverings of General Joseph E. Johnston’s army in and around Harpers Ferry and Winchester, culminating with the Battle of Bull Run.
In the fall of 1862, Wragg joined the Confederate Navy and trained on the ironclad CSS Georgia before transferring to the CSS Atlanta. Hain uses the notebook that he kept during his training in ordnance and gunnery to provide a rare glimpse into the naval and artillery practices at the time. This notebook also provides evidence of a fledgling Confederate naval “school” prior to the one established on the James River on the CSS Patrick Henry.
The crew of the unfortunate Atlanta was captured on the ship’s maiden voyage, and evidence in the Wragg family papers suggests the capture was not the result of bad luck, as has been claimed. Wragg and the other officers were sent to Fort Warren Prison in Boston Harbor for fifteen months. Wragg’s POW letters reveal the isolation and sense of abandonment the prisoners felt as they waited in hopes of an exchange. The correspondence between Wragg and his fiancée, Josie, after the war illustrates not only the mores of nineteenth-century courtship but also the difficulty of adjustment that many Confederate war veterans faced.
Sadly, Wragg’s life was cut short after he became a successful doctor in Quincy, Florida. Cover-up and intrigue by influential citizens prevented Wragg’s wife from bringing the murderer to justice. A Confederate Chronicle offers an unprecedented look at how the Civil War affected the gentry class of the South. It gives readers a personal view into one man’s struggle with the chaos of life during and after the war, as well as into the struggles of the general society.
Founded in 1807, the successor to a literary club called the Anthology Society, the Boston Athenaeum occupies an important place in the early history of American intellectual life. At first a repository for books, to which works of art were later added, the Athenaeum attracted over time a following that included such literary luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry James.
Yet from the outset, Katherine Wolff shows, the Boston Athenaeum was more than a library; it was also a breeding ground for evolving notions of cultural authority and American identity. 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. As the Boston Athenaeum opened its doors to women as well as men outside its inner circle, it eventually began to define itself against a more accessible literary institution, the Boston Public Library.
Told through a series of provocative episodes and generously illustrated, Culture Club offers a more complete picture than previously available of the cultural politics behind the making of a quintessentially American institution.
Over the years, Boston has been one of America’s leading laboratories of urban culture, including restaurants, and Boston history provides valuable insights into American food ways. James C. O’Connell, in this fascinating look at more than two centuries of culinary trends in Boston restaurants, presents a rich and hitherto unexplored side to the city’s past. Dining Out in Boston shows that the city was a pioneer in elaborate hotel dining, oyster houses, French cuisine, student hangouts, ice cream parlors, the twentieth-century revival of traditional New England dishes, and contemporary locavore and trendy foodie culture. In these stories of the most-beloved Boston restaurants of yesterday and today—illustrated with an extensive collection of historic menus, postcards, and photos—O’Connell reveals a unique history sure to whet the intellectual and nostalgic appetite of Bostonians and restaurant-goers the world over.
Harriot Kezia Hunt was a pioneer in a number of ways. The first woman to establish a successful medical practice in the United States, she began seeing patients in Boston in 1835 and promoted a new method of treatment by listening to women's troubles or their "heart histories." Her unsuccessful efforts to attend lectures at Harvard's Medical School galvanized her activism in the woman's rights movement. During the 1850s she played a prominent role in the annual woman's rights conventions and was the first woman in Massachusetts to publicly protest the injustice of taxing propertied women while denying them the franchise.
In this first comprehensive, full-length biography of Hunt, Myra C. Glenn shows how this single woman from a working-class Boston home became a successful physician and noted reformer, illuminating the struggle for woman's rights and the fractious and gendered nature of medicine in antebellum America.
Winner of the 2019 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and a Library Journal Best Book of 2019
Driving in Cars with Homeless Men is a love letter to women moving through violence. These linked stories are set in the streets and the bars, the old homes, the tiny apartments, and the landscape of a working-class Boston. Serena, Frankie, Raffa, and Nat collide and break apart like pool balls to come back together in an imagined post-divorce future. Through the gritty, unraveling truths of their lives, they find themselves in the bed of an overdosed lover, through the panting tongue of a rescue dog who is equally as dislanguaged as his owner, in the studio apartment of a compulsive liar, sitting backward but going forward in the galley of an airplane, in relationships that are at once playgrounds and cages. Homeless Men is the collective story of women whose lives careen back into the past, to the places where pain lurks and haunts. With riotous energy and rage, they run towards the future in the hopes of untangling themselves from failure to succeed and fail again.
Echoes of the Great Catastrophe: Re-sounding Anatolian Greekness in Diaspora explores the legacy of the Great Catastrophe—the death and expulsion from Turkey of 1.5 million Greek Christians following the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922—through the music and dance practices of Greek refugees and their descendants over the last one hundred years. The book draws extensively on original ethnographic research conducted in Greece (on the island of Lesvos in particular) and in the Greater Boston area, as well as on the author’s lifetime immersion in the North American Greek diaspora. Through analysis of handwritten music manuscripts, homemade audio recordings, and contemporary live performances, the book traces the routes of repertoire and style over generations and back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean, investigating the ways that the particular musical traditions of the Anatolian Greek community have contributed to their understanding of their place in the global Greek diaspora and the wider post-Ottoman world. Alternating between fine-grained musicological analysis and engaging narrative prose, it fills a lacuna in scholarship on the transnational Greek experience.
Drinking a glass of tap water, strolling in a park, hopping a train for the suburbs: some aspects of city life are so familiar that we don’t think twice about them. But such simple actions are structured by complex relationships with our natural world. The contours of these relationships—social, cultural, political, economic, and legal—were established during America’s first great period of urbanization in the nineteenth century, and Boston, one of the earliest cities in America, often led the nation in designing them. A richly textured cultural and social history of the development of nineteenth-century Boston, this book provides a new environmental perspective on the creation of America’s first cities.
Eden on the Charles explores how Bostonians channeled country lakes through miles of pipeline to provide clean water; dredged the ocean to deepen the harbor; filled tidal flats and covered the peninsula with houses, shops, and factories; and created a metropolitan system of parks and greenways, facilitating the conversion of fields into suburbs. The book shows how, in Boston, different class and ethnic groups brought rival ideas of nature and competing visions of a “city upon a hill” to the process of urbanization—and were forced to conform their goals to the realities of Boston’s distinctive natural setting. The outcomes of their battles for control over the city’s development were ultimately recorded in the very fabric of Boston itself. In Boston’s history, we find the seeds of the environmental relationships that—for better or worse—have defined urban America to this day.
Why—contrary to much expert and popular opinion—more education may not be the answer to skyrocketing inequality.
For generations, Americans have looked to education as the solution to economic disadvantage. Yet, although more people are earning degrees, the gap between rich and poor is widening. Cristina Groeger delves into the history of this seeming contradiction, explaining how education came to be seen as a panacea even as it paved the way for deepening inequality.
The Education Trap returns to the first decades of the twentieth century, when Americans were grappling with the unprecedented inequities of the Gilded Age. Groeger’s test case is the city of Boston, which spent heavily on public schools. She examines how workplaces came to depend on an army of white-collar staff, largely women and second-generation immigrants, trained in secondary schools. But Groeger finds that the shift to more educated labor had negative consequences—both intended and unintended—for many workers. Employers supported training in schools in order to undermine the influence of craft unions, and so shift workplace power toward management. And advanced educational credentials became a means of controlling access to high-paying professional and business jobs, concentrating power and wealth. Formal education thus became a central force in maintaining inequality.
The idea that more education should be the primary means of reducing inequality may be appealing to politicians and voters, but Groeger warns that it may be a dangerous policy trap. If we want a more equitable society, we should not just prescribe more time in the classroom, but fight for justice in the workplace.
In recent years, federal mandates in education have become the subject of increasing debate. Adam R. Nelson's The Elusive Ideal—a postwar history of federal involvement in the Boston public schools—provides lessons from the past that shed light on the continuing struggles of urban public schools today. This far-reaching analysis examines the persistent failure of educational policy at local, state, and federal levels to equalize educational opportunity for all. Exploring deep-seated tensions between the educational ideals of integration, inclusion, and academic achievement over time, Nelson considers the development and implementation of policies targeted at diverse groups of urban students, including policies related to racial desegregation, bilingual education, special education, school funding, and standardized testing.
An ambitious study that spans more than thirty years and covers all facets of educational policy, from legal battles to tax strategies, The Elusive Ideal provides a model from which future inquiries will proceed. A probing and provocative work of urban history with deep relevance for urban public schools today, Nelson's book reveals why equal educational opportunity remains such an elusive ideal.
This is the first complete modern edition of The Female Marine, a fictional cross-dressing trilogy originally published between 1815 and 1818. Enormously popular among New England readers, the tale in various versions appeared in no fewer than nineteen editions over that brief four-year span. This new edition appends three other contemporary accounts of cross-dressing and urban vice which, together with The Female Marine, provide a unique portrayal of prostitution and interracial city life in early-nineteenth-century America.
The alternately racy and moralistic narrative recounts the adventures of a young woman from rural Massachusetts who is seduced by a false-hearted lover, flees to Boston, and is entrapped in a brothel. She eventually escapes by disguising herself as a man and serves with distinction on board the U.S. frigate Constitution during the War of 1812. After subsequent onshore adventures in and out of male dress, she is happily married to a wealthy New York gentleman.
In his introduction, Daniel A. Cohen situates the story in both its literary and historical contexts. He explains how the tale draws upon a number of popular Anglo-American literary genres, including the female warrior narrative, the sentimental novel, and the urban exposé. He then explores how The Female Marine reflects early-nineteenth-century anxieties concerning changing gender norms, the expansion of urban prostitution, the growth of Boston's African American community, and feelings of guilt aroused by New England's notoriously unpatriotic activities during the War of 1812.
Phil Cresta was no run-of-the-mill thief. Mastermind of the legendary Brink's armored truck robbery and a string of countless other high-stakes heists, he stole more than ten million dollars in escapades that often were breathtakingly daring and at times marvelously inventive. The robberies baffled both police and fellow outlaws for decades, and most of the crimes remain unsolved today. Now the open case files of these memorable thefts can be closed as Cresta himself provides the true story on how they were planned and carried out. Born in Boston's North End in 1928, Cresta was raised in an abusive household. He was sent to Concord Reformatory as a teenager, where he learned the craft of picking locks, a skill later honed during stays at the Charlestown and Walpole prisons in Massachusetts. Following the Brinks robbery in 1968, he was put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, but eluded the law for five years, living in Chicago under an assumed name. After serving time at Walpole for the Brinks job, Cresta died penniless in Chicago in 1995. Yet shortly before his death, he revealed the full extent of his astonishing capers to coauthor Bill Crowley, a retired Boston police detective. Drawing from their extensive conversations, this riveting page-turner chronicles how Cresta, along with partners "Angelo" and "Tony," pulled off robberies of jewelers, rare coin dealers, furriers, and armored trucks, detailing the meticulous planning that marked his criminal career. Cresta's final accounting is brimming with vivid tales of betrayal, murder, and intrigue as well as a colorful cast of characters, including mob bosses, wise guys, informants, paid "ears," corrupt judges, a Hollywood starlet, and even the Mayor of Chicago. Filled with drama, tension, and humor, this absorbing saga takes the reader inside the dangerous yet exhilarating world of a life dedicated to crime.
In his perceptive study of the education of disabled children during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Robert Osgood focuses upon the Boston school system as both typical and a national leader among urban centers at that time. Osgood points out that a host of significant figures worked in education in the region, including Horace Mann, George Emerson, and John Philbrick, and also Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Samuel Gridley Howe, Edouard Seguin, Hervey Wilbur, and Walter Fernald, each of the latter group noted for first founding and/or directing institutions for individuals with disabilities.
For “Children Who Vary from the Normal Type” describes the growth of Boston and its educational system during this period, then examines closely the emergence of individual programs that catered to students formally identified as having special needs: intermediate schools and ungraded classes; three separate programs for students with children; special classes for mentally retarded children; and other programs established between 1908 and 1913. Osgood describes these programs and their relations with each other, and also the rationales offered for their establishment and support. This detailed examination graphically depicts how patterns of integration and segregation in special education shifted over time in Boston, and provides a foundation for continuing the present-day discussion of the politics and realities of inclusion.
Chinatown has a long history in Boston. Though little documented, it represents the city's most sustained neighborhood effort to survive during eras of hostility and urban transformation. It has been wounded and transformed, slowly ceding ground; at the same time, its residents and organizations have gained a more prominent voice over their community's fate.
In writing about Boston Chinatown's long history, Michael Liu, a lifelong activist and scholar of the community, charts its journey and efforts for survival—from its emergence during a time of immigration and deep xenophobia to the highway construction and urban renewal projects that threatened the neighborhood after World War II to its more recent efforts to keep commercial developers at bay. At the ground level, Liu depicts its people, organizations, internal battles, and varied and complex strategies against land-taking by outside institutions and public authorities. The documented courage, resilience, and ingenuity of this low-income immigrant neighborhood of color have earned it a place amongst our urban narratives. Chinatown has much to teach us about neighborhood agency, the power of organizing, and the prospects of such neighborhoods in rapidly growing and changing cities.
Because prior studies of American women’s travel writing have focused exclusively on middle-class and wealthy travelers, it has been difficult to assess the genre and its participants in a holistic fashion. One of the very few surviving working-class travel diaries, Lorenza Stevens Berbineau’s account provides readers with a unique perspective of a domestic servant in the wealthy Lowell family in Boston. Staying in luxurious hotels and caring for her young charge Eddie during her six-month grand tour, Berbineau wrote detailed and insightful entries about the people and places she saw.
Contributing to the traditions of women’s, diary, and travel literature from the perspective of a domestic servant, Berbineau's narrative reveals an arresting and intimate outlook on both her own life and the activities, places, and people she encounters. For example, she carefully records Europeans’ religious practices, working people and their behavior, and each region’s aesthetic qualities. Clearly writing in haste and with a pleasing freedom from the constraints of orthographic and stylistic convention, Berbineau offers a distinctive voice and a discerning perspective. Alert to nuances of social class, her narrative is as appealing and informative to today's readers as it no doubt was to her fellow domestics in the Lowell household.
Unobtrusively edited to retain as much as possible the individuality and texture of the author’s original manuscript, From Beacon Hill to the Crystal Palace offers readers brief framing summaries, informative endnotes, and a valuable introduction that analyzes Berbineau’s narrative in relation to gender and class issues and compares it to the published travel writing of her famous contemporary, Harriet Beecher Stowe.
From the almshouses of seventeenth-century Puritans to the massive housing projects of the mid-twentieth century, the struggle over housing assistance in the United States has exposed a deep-seated ambivalence about the place of the urban poor. Lawrence J. Vale's groundbreaking book is both a comprehensive institutional history of public housing in Boston and a broader examination of the nature and extent of public obligation to house socially and economically marginal Americans during the past 350 years.
First, Vale highlights startling continuities both in the way housing assistance has been delivered to the American poor and in the policies used to reward the nonpoor. He traces the stormy history of the Boston Housing Authority, a saga of entrenched patronage and virulent racism tempered, and partially overcome, by the efforts of unyielding reformers. He explores the birth of public housing as a program intended to reward the upwardly mobile working poor, details its painful transformation into a system designed to cope with society's least advantaged, and questions current policy efforts aimed at returning to a system of rewards for responsible members of the working class. The troubled story of Boston public housing exposes the mixed motives and ideological complexity that have long characterized housing in America, from the Puritans to the projects.
As a poet, author, and keen observer of life in 1870s Boston, Harriet Robinson played an essential—if occasionally underappreciated—role in the women’s suffrage movement during Boston’s golden age. Robinson flourished after leaving behind her humble roots in the mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts, deciding to spend a year in Boston discovering the culture and politics of America’s Athens. An honest, bright, and perceptive witness, she meets with Emerson and Julia Ward Howe, with whom she organizes the New England Women’s Club, and drinks deeply of the city’s artistic and cultural offerings. Noted historian Claudia L. Bushman proves a wonderful guide as she weaves together Robinson’s journal entries, her own learned commentary, and selections from other nineteenth-century writers to reveal the impact of the industrial revolution and the rise of women’s suffrage as seen through the experience of one articulate, engaged participant. Going to Boston will appeal to readers interested in both the history of Boston and the history of American progress itself.
There are some two hundred TV markets in the country, but only one—Boston, Massachusetts—hosted a Golden Age of local programming. In this lively insider account, Terry Ann Knopf chronicles the development of Boston television, from its origins in the 1970s through its decline in the early 1990s. During TV’s heyday, not only was Boston the nation’s leader in locally produced news, programming, and public affairs, but it also became a model for other local stations around the country. It was a time of award-winning local newscasts, spirited talk shows, thought-provoking specials and documentaries, ambitious public service campaigns, and even originally produced TV films featuring Hollywood stars. Knopf also shows how this programming highlighted aspects of Boston’s own history over two turbulent decades, including the treatment of highly charged issues of race, sex, and gender—and the stations’ failure to challenge the Roman Catholic Church during its infamous sexual abuse scandal. Laced with personal insights and anecdotes, The Golden Age of Boston Television offers an intimate look at how Boston’s television stations refracted the city’s culture in unique ways, while at the same time setting national standards for television creativity and excellence.
A new edition of a bestselling book looking at the history of Boston through fifty artifacts.
Joseph M. Bagley, the city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents. Each artifact is shown in full color with a description of the item’s significance to its site location and Boston’s larger history. From cannonballs to drinking cups and from ancient spears to chinaware, A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts offers a unique and accessible introduction to Boston’s history and physical culture while revealing the ways objects can offer a tantalizing entrée into our past. Packed with vivid descriptions and art, this lively history of Boston will appeal to all manner of readers, locals, and visitors alike. This new edition showcases an important fact which has come to light since its first publication, that a chapter about a cat has now been shown to be a dog, thus demonstrating the perils of the archaeologist.
History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Though not the most popular construction project, Boston’s Big Dig has contributed more to our understanding and appreciation of the city’s archaeological history than any other recent event. Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents. Each artifact is shown in full color and accompanied by description of the item’s significance to its site location and the larger history of the city. From cannonballs to drinking cups and from ancient spears to chinaware, A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts offers a unique and accessible introduction to Boston’s history and physical culture while revealing the ways objects can offer a tantalizing entrée into our past. Packed with vivid descriptions and art, this lively history of Boston will appeal to all manner of readers, locals and visitors alike.
Presented here for the first time is the history of Boston's evolution as a center of American money management from early settlement to the twenty-first century. Within a few decades after the Revolution, Bostonians built up an impressive mercantile and industrial economy, and used wealth accrued from the China trade, New England mills, and other ventures to establish the most important stock exchange in America. They also created the "Boston trustee," a unique professional who managed private fortunes over generations. During the late nineteenth century, Boston financial institutions were renowned as bastions of stability and conservatism in an era of recurrent economic panics and frequent failures.
It was not until the twentieth century that Boston became better known for its role in investment management. In 1924, local financiers created the first mutual fund, an innovation almost a century in the making. After World War II, Boston originated venture capital with the founding of American Research & Development. This was soon followed by the development of private equity, the growth of the mutual fund industry, the pension "revolution" that changed and strengthened money management, the evolution in management of institutional endowments, and the rise of new family offices and hedge funds. The contributions of fiduciaries and investment managers have played an important part in the rise of the "New Boston" and made the city one of the most vibrant financial capitals in the world.
Investment Management in Boston is published in association with Massachusetts Historical Society.
During the first quarter of the twentieth century, the intersection of support for Irish freedom and the principles of Catholic social justice transformed Irish ethnicity in Boston. Prior to World War I, Boston’s middle-class Irish nationalist leaders sought a rapprochement with local Yankees. However, the combined impact of the Easter 1916 Rising and the postwar campaign to free Ireland from British rule drove a wedge between leaders of the city’s two main groups. Irish-American nationalists, emboldened by the visits of Irish leader Eamon de Valera, rejected both Yankees’ support of a postwar Anglo-American alliance and the latter groups’ portrayal of Irish nationalism as a form of Bolshevism. Instead, ably assisted by Catholic Church leaders such as Cardinal William O’Connell, Boston’s Irish nationalists portrayed an independent Ireland as the greatest bulwark against the spread of socialism. As the movement’s popularity spread locally, it attracted the support not only of Irish immigrants, but also that of native-born Americans of Irish descent, including businessman, left-leaning progressives, and veterans of the women’s suffrage movement.
For a brief period after World War I, Irish-American nationalism in Boston became a vehicle for the promotion of wider democratic reform. Though the movement was unable to survive the disagreements surrounding the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, it had been a source of ethnic unity that enabled Boston’s Irish community to negotiate the challenges of the postwar years including the anti-socialist Red Scare and the divisions caused by the Boston Police Strike in the fall of 1919. Furthermore, Boston’s Irish nationalists drew heavily on Catholic Church teachings such that Irish ethnicity came to be more clearly identified with the advocacy of both cultural pluralism and the rights of immigrant and working families in Boston and America.
Over the winter of 1977–78, anyone within shouting distance of a two-mile stretch of Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue—from Fenway Park to the trolley curve at Packard’s Corner—found themselves pulled into the orbit of college hockey. The hottest ticket in a sports-mad city was Boston University’s Terriers, a team so tough it was said they didn’t have fans—they took hostages. Eschewing the usual recruiting pools in Canada, Jack Parker and his coaching staff assembled a squad that included three stars from nearby Charlestown, then known as the “armed robbery capital of America.” Jack Parker’s Wiseguys is the story of a high-flying, headline-dominating, national championship squad led by three future stars of the Miracle on Ice, the medal-round game the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team won against the heavily favored Soviet Union. Now retired, Parker is a thoughtful statesman for the sport, a revered figure who held the longest tenure of any coach in Boston sports history. But during the 1977–78 season, he was just five years into his reign—and only a decade or so older than his players. Fiery, mercurial, as tough as any of his tough guys, Parker and his team were to face the pressure-cooker expectations of four previous also-ran seasons, further heightened by barroom brawls, off-the-ice shenanigans, and the citywide shutdown caused by one of the biggest blizzards to ever hit the Northeast. This season was to be Parker’s watershed, a roller-coaster ride of nail-biting victories and unimaginable tragedy, played out in increasingly strident headlines as his team opened the season with an unprecedented twenty-one straight wins. Only the second loss of the year eliminated the Terriers from their league playoffs and possibly from national contention; hours after the game Parker’s wife died from cancer. The story of how the team responded—coming back to win the national championship a week after Parker buried his wife—makes a compelling tale for Boston sports fans and everyone else who feels a thrill of pride at America’s unlikely win over the Soviet national team—a victory forged on Commonwealth Avenue in that bitter, beautiful winter of ’78.
The Last Hurrah: A Novel
Edwin O'Connor University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress PS3565.C55L37 2016 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
“We’re living in a sensitive age, Cuke, and I’m not altogether sure you’re fully attuned to it.” So says Irish-American politician Frank Skeffington—a cynical, corrupt 1950s mayor, and also an old-school gentleman who looks after the constituents of his New England city and enjoys their unwavering loyalty in return. But in our age of dynasties, mercurial social sensitivities, and politicians making love to the camera, Skeffington might as well be talking to us.
Not quite a roman á clef of notorious Boston mayor James Michael Curley, The Last Hurrah tells the story of Skeffington’s final campaign as witnessed through the eyes of his nephew, who learns a great deal about politics as he follows his uncle to fundraisers, wakes, and into smoke-filled rooms, ultimately coming—almost against his will—to admire the man. Adapted into a 1958 film starring Spencer Tracy and directed by John Ford (and which Curley tried to keep from being made), Edwin O’Connor’s opus reveals politics as it really is, and big cities as they really were. An expansive, humorous novel offering deep insight into the Irish-American experience and the ever-changing nature of the political machine, The Last Hurrah reveals political truths still true today: what the cameras capture is just the smiling face of the sometimes sordid business of giving the people what they want.
Through an in-depth study of the Latino community in Boston, Carol hardy-Fanta addressees three key debates in American politics: how to look at the ways in which women and men envision the meaning of politics and political participation; how to understand culture and the political life of expanding immigrant populations; and how to create a more participatory America. The author's interviews with Latinos from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Central and South America and her participation in community events in North Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and the South End document the often ignored contribution of Latina women as candidates, political mobilizers, and community organizers. Hardy-Fanta examines critical gender differences in how politics is defined, what strategies Latina women and Latino men use to generate political participation, and how culture and gender interact in the political empowerment of the ethic communities.
Hardy-Fanta challenges the notion of political apathy among Latinos and presents factors that stimulate political participation. She finds that the vision of politics promoted by Latina women—one based on connectedness, collectivity, community, and consiousness-raising—contrasts sharply with a male political concern for status, hierarchy, and personal opportunity.
Karin Aguilar-San Juan examines the contradictions of Vietnamese American community and identity in two emblematic yet different locales: Little Saigon in suburban Orange County, California (widely described as the capital of Vietnamese America) and the urban "Vietnamese town" of Fields Corner in Boston, Massachusetts. Their distinctive qualities challenge assumptions about identity and space, growth amid globalization, and processes of Americanization.
With a comparative and race-cognizant approach, Aguilar-San Juan shows how places like Little Saigon and Fields Corner are sites for the simultaneous preservation and redefinition of Vietnamese identity. Intervening in debates about race, ethnicity, multiculturalism, and suburbanization as a form of assimilation, this work elaborates on the significance of place as an integral element of community building and its role in defining Vietnamese American-ness.
Staying Vietnamese, according to Aguilar-San Juan, is not about replicating life in Viet Nam. Rather, it involves moving toward a state of equilibrium that, though always in flux, allows refugees, immigrants, and their U.S.-born offspring to recalibrate their sense of self in order to become Vietnamese anew in places far from their presumed geographic home.
Scholars have made urban mothers living in poverty a focus of their research for decades. These women’s lives can be difficult as they go about searching for housing and decent jobs and struggling to care for their children while surviving on welfare or working at low-wage service jobs and sometimes facing physical or mental health problems. But until now little attention has been paid to an important force in these women’s lives: religion.
Based on in-depth interviews with women and pastors, Susan Crawford Sullivan presents poor mothers’ often overlooked views. Recruited from a variety of social service programs, most of the women do not attend religious services, due to logistical challenges or because they feel stigmatized and unwanted at church. Yet, she discovers, religious faith often plays a strong role in their lives as they contend with and try to make sense of the challenges they face. Supportive religious congregations prove important for women who are involved, she finds, but understanding everyday religion entails exploring beyond formal religious organizations.
Offering a sophisticated analysis of how faith both motivates and at times constrains poor mothers’ actions, Living Faith reveals the ways it serves as a lens through which many view and interpret their worlds.
For the middle class and the affluent, local ties seem to matter less and less these days, but in the inner city, your life can be irrevocably shaped by what block you live on. Living the Drama takes a close look at three neighborhoods in Boston to analyze the many complex ways that the context of community shapes the daily lives and long-term prospects of inner-city boys.
David J. Harding studied sixty adolescent boys growing up in two very poor areas and one working-class area. In the first two, violence and neighborhood identification are inextricably linked as rivalries divide the city into spaces safe, neutral, or dangerous. Consequently, Harding discovers, social relationships are determined by residential space. Older boys who can navigate the dangers of the streets serve as role models, and friendships between peers grow out of mutual protection. The impact of community goes beyond the realm of same-sex bonding, Harding reveals, affecting the boys’ experiences in school and with the opposite sex. A unique glimpse into the world of urban adolescent boys, Living the Drama paints a detailed, insightful portrait of life in the inner city.
When twelve-year-old Jesse Pomeroy tortured seven small boys in the Boston area and then went on to brutally murder two other children, one of the most striking aspects of his case was his inability ever to answer the question of why he did what he did. Whether in court or in the newspapers, many experts tried to explain his horrible acts—and distance the rest of society from them. Despite those efforts, and attempts since, the mystery remains.
In this book, Dawn Keetley details the story of Pomeroy's crimes and the intense public outcry. She explores the two reigning theories at the time—that he was shaped before birth when his pregnant mother visited a slaughterhouse and that he imitated brutal acts found in popular dime novels. Keetley then thoughtfully offers a new theory: that Pomeroy suffered a devastating reaction to a smallpox vaccination which altered his brain, creating a psychopath who revealed the human potential for brutality. The reaction to Pomeroy's acts, then and now, demonstrates the struggle to account for exactly those aspects of human nature that remain beyond our ability to understand.
"Why is The Making of New Deal Democrats so significant? One of the major controversies in the study of American elections has to do with the nature of electoral realignments. One school argues that a realignment involves a major shift of voters from one party to another, while another school argues that the process consists largely of mobilization of previously inactive voters. The debate is crucial for understanding the nature of the New Deal realignment.
Almost all previous work on the subject has dealt with large-scale national patterns which make it difficult to pin down the precise processes by which the alignment took place. Gamm's work is most remarkable in that it is a close analysis of shifting voter alignments on the precinct and block level in the city of Boston. His extremely detailed and painstaking work of isolating homogeneous ethnic units over a twenty-year period allows one to trace the voting behavior of the particular ethnic groups that ultimately formed the core of the New Deal realignment."—Sidney Verba, Harvard University
If a teaching hospital loses funding, what is the next option?
Mergers of Teaching Hospitals in Boston, New York, and Northern California investigates the recent mergers of six of the nation's most respected teaching hospitals. The author explains the reasons why these institutions decided to change their governance and the factors that have allowed two of them to continue to operate while forcing the third to dissolve after only 23 months of operation.
The case studies contained within this book rely on an impressive amount of research. Notably, instead of citing only published articles and books, the author includes information from numerous, extensive personal interviews with key participants in the various mergers. With this research the author not only presents to the reader a picture of why these mergers came about, but also investigates how the organizations have fared since joining together. The mergers are analyzed and compared in order to identify various methods of merger formation as well as ways in which other newly formed hospitals might accomplish a variety of important goals.
Offering a spectacular account of some of the mergers that occurred in the health care field at the close of the twentieth century, these stories provide insight into academia's relationship with teaching hospitals and the challenges involved in bringing prestigious and powerful medical institutions together. The institutions discussed are Partners, the corporation which includes the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the union of the New York and Presbyterian hospitals in New York City, and the UCSF Stanford, the merged teaching hospitals of the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford. This book will particularly appeal to professionals and academics interested in medicine, business, and organizational studies.
John Kastor is Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. From 1984 to 1997, he was Theodore E. Woodward Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Maryland and Chief of the Medical Service at the University of Maryland Hospital. Dr. Kastor is also the author of Arrhythmias.
Murder in Montauk
Judy Soloway Kay University of Michigan Press, 2005 Library of Congress PZ7.K1965Mur 2005
Charlie Anderson, a reporter on leave from the Boston Globe, becomes entangled in an unusual mystery when he stumbles upon a news article about his own death. Confused and still very much alive, Charlie travels to Montauk, Long Island, to learn more about the deceased man and learns more about himself in the process.
The MICHIGAN Reading Plus Readers are original fiction written for students who wish to improve their reading skills. The MICHIGAN Reading Plus Readers support the need for extensive reading on topics of interest to today's students. The Readers offer students books in the genres of mystery, science-fiction, and romance. Activities that practice vocabulary and reading skills are provided on the companion website.
Among the most consequential pieces of Great Society legislation, the Immigration Act of 1965 opened the nation's doors to large-scale immigration from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. A half century later, the impact of the "new immigration" is evident in the transformation of the country's demographics, economy, politics, and culture, particularly in urban America.
In The New Bostonians, Marilynn S. Johnson examines the historical confluence of recent immigration and urban transformation in greater Boston, a region that underwent dramatic decline after World War II. Since the 1980s, the Boston area has experienced an astounding renaissance—a development, she argues, to which immigrants have contributed in numerous ways. From 1970 to 2010, the percentage of foreign-born residents of the city more than doubled, representing far more diversity than earlier waves of immigration. Like the older Irish, Italian, and other European immigrant groups whose labor once powered the region's industrial economy, these newer migrants have been crucial in re-building the population, labor force, and metropolitan landscape of the New Boston, although the fruits of the new prosperity have not been equally shared.
In 2004 the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announced plans to close more than eighty churches. Distraught parishioners occupied several of these buildings in opposition to the decrees. Seitz tells the stories of these resisting Catholics in their own words, illuminating how they were drawn to reconsider the past and its meanings.
Old Brick was first published in 1980. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Charles Chauncy was a powerful and influential figure in his own time, but in historical accounts he has always been overshadowed by his contemporaries Benjamin Franklin and Jonathan Edwards. When he is remembered today, it is usually as Edwards's chief antagonist during the Great Awakening of the 1740s. Yet Chauncy's fellow New Englanders knew that there was more to the man than that.
In the course of his 60-year tenure as a pastor of Boston's First Church (the "Old Brick"), Chauncy involved himself in most of the important intellectual, religious, and political issues of the century. Not only did he aggressively oppose the emotional revivalism of the Great Awakening, but he was also a bold pamphleteer and preacher in support of the American Revolution. In theology Chauncy became, as an old man, the leading advocate probably having scandalized his own forebears, but he insisted that he was true to his Protestant tradition and never abandoned his reliance on Scripture and Puritan discipline in favor of rationalist secularism.
Old Brick,the first full-scale biography of Charles Chauncy, attempts to recover not only Chauncy the spokesman for the ideas of a great many colonial Americans, but also the complex man who struggled with himself and with the events of his time to arrive at those positions. The portrait of Chauncy that emerges is fuller, more comprehensive, and more balanced than the stereotypes and partial portraits that have thus far represented him in history. This biography now makes it possible to consider Chauncy a figure worthy of study in his own right and to take a fresh look at eighteenth-century New England in light of the tradition Chauncy represents.
Adelaide Cromwell’s pioneering work explores race and the social caste system in an atypical northern environment over a period of two centuries. Based on scholarly sources, interviews, and questionnaires, the study identifies those blacks in Boston who exercised political, economic, and social leadership from the end of the eighteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. The central focus is a comparison of black and white upper-class women in the 1940s.
This rare look at a black social microcosm not located in the South is seminal and timely. Because it concludes at a critical period in American history, The Other Brahmins paints a colorful backdrop for evaluating subsequent changes in urban sociology and stratification. In a groundbreaking study, Cromwell effectively challenges the simplistic notions of hierarchy as they pertain to race.
Although Boston today is a vibrant and thriving city, it was anything but that in the years following World War II. By 1950 it had lost a quarter of its tax base over the previous twenty-five years, and during the 1950s it would lose residents faster than any other major city in the country.
Credit for the city's turnaround since that time is often given to a select group of people, all of them men, all of them white, and most of them well off. In fact, a large group of community activists, many of them women, people of color, and not very well off, were also responsible for creating the Boston so many enjoy today. This book provides a grassroots perspective on the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s, when residents of the city's neighborhoods engaged in an era of activism and protest unprecedented in Boston since the American Revolution.
Using interviews with many of those activists, contemporary news accounts, and historical sources, Jim Vrabel describes the demonstrations, sit-ins, picket lines, boycotts, and contentious negotiations through which residents exerted their influence on the city that was being rebuilt around them. He includes case histories of the fights against urban renewal, highway construction, and airport expansion; for civil rights, school desegregation, and welfare reform; and over Vietnam and busing. He also profiles a diverse group of activists from all over the city, including Ruth Batson, Anna DeFronzo, Moe Gillen, Mel King, Henry Lee, and Paula Oyola. Vrabel tallies the wins and losses of these neighborhood Davids as they took on the Goliaths of the time, including Boston's mayors. He shows how much of the legacy of that activism remains in Boston today.
Political Woman: Florence
Sharon Strom Temple University Press, 2001 Library of Congress HQ1413.L87S77 2001 | Dewey Decimal 303.484092
Florence Hope Luscomb's life spanned nearly all of the twentieth century. Born into a remarkable family of abolitionists and progressive thinkers, the young Florence accompanied her feminist mother to lectures and political rallies, soon choosing a course of political engagement and social activism from which she never retreated.
Politcal Women counters the traditional narratives that place men at the center of political thinking and history. Showing how three generations of Luscomb's family had set the stage for her activism, this biography presents her story against the backdrop of Boston's politics and larger struggles for social justice. Luscomb participated in every significant social reform movement of her time -- from securing women's right to vote and supporting trade unionism to advocating an end to the war in Vietnam. Luscomb also ran for public office; she was narrowly defeated when she ran for Boston's city council in 1922. Although unsuccessful as a third-party candidate for Congress (in 1936 and 1950) and for Governor of Massachusetts (in 1952), she was one of the few women of her time to seek office. Independent, athletic, and spirited, she apparently never thought that traditional gender prescriptions applied to her. A practicing architect before the First World War, an exuberant hiker all her life, and a member in collective-living arrangements, Luscomb enjoyed a life of rich experiences and sustaining relationships.
In Florence Luscomb's biography, Sharon Hartman Strom suggests that although women were excluded from the activities and sites associated with conventional politics until recently, they did political work that gave purpose to their lives and affected political thinking in their communities, states, and ultimately the nation.
Blaring the Cream anthem “I Feel Free,” WBCN went on the air in March 1968 as an experiment in free-form rock on the fledgling FM radio band. It broadcast its final song, Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” in August 2009. In between, WBCN became the musical, cultural, and political voice of the young people of Boston and New England, sustaining a vibrant local music scene that launched such artists as the J. Geils Band, Aerosmith, James Taylor, Boston, the Cars, and the Dropkick Murphys, as well as paving the way for Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, U2, and many others. Along the way, WBCN both pioneered and defined progressive rock radio, the dominant format for a generation of listeners. Brilliantly told by Carter Alan—and featuring the voices of station insiders and the artists they loved—Radio Free Boston is the story of a city; of artistic freedom, of music and politics and identity; and of the cultural, technological, and financial forces that killed rock radio.
Following in the footsteps of Boston Bohemia, 1881–1900, Douglass Shand-Tucci's widely praised portrait of Ralph Adams Cram's early years, this volume tells the story of Cram's later career as one of America's leading cultural figures and most accomplished architects.
With his partner Bertram Goodhue, Cram won a number of important commissions, beginning with the West Point competition in 1903. Although an increasingly bitter rivalry with Goodhue would lead to the dissolution of their partnership in 1912, Cram had already begun to strike out on his own. Supervising architect at Princeton, consulting architect at Wellesley, and head of the MIT School of Architecture, he would also design most of New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the campus of Rice University, as well as important church and collegiate structures throughout the country. By the 1920s Cram had become a household name, even appearing on the cover of Time magazine.
A complex man, Cram was a leading figure in what Shand-Tucci calls "a full-fledged homosexual monastery" in England, while at the same time married to Elizabeth Read. Their relationship was a complicated one, the effect of which on his children and his career is explored fully in this book. So too is his work as a religious leader and social theorist.
Shand-Tucci traces the influence on Cram of such disparate figures as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Phillips Brooks, Henry Adams, and Ayn Rand. He divides Cram's career into four lifelong "quests": medieval, modernist, American, and ecumenical. Some quests may have failed, but in each he left a considerable legacy, ultimately transforming the visual image of American Christianity in the twentieth century.
Handsomely illustrated with over 130 photographs and drawings and eight pages of color plates, Ralph Adams Cram can be read on its own or in conjunction with Boston Bohemia, 1881–1900. Together, the two volumes complete what the Christian Century has described as a "superbly researched and captivating biography."
Resisting Garbage presents a new approach to understanding practices of waste removal and recycling in American cities, one that is grounded in the close observation of case studies while being broadly applicable to many American cities today.
Most current waste practices in the United States, Lily Baum Pollans argues, prioritize sanitation and efficiency while allowing limited post-consumer recycling as a way to quell consumers’ environmental anxiety. After setting out the contours of this “weak recycling waste regime,” Pollans zooms in on the very different waste management stories of Seattle and Boston over the last forty years. While Boston’s local politics resulted in a waste-export program with minimal recycling, Seattle created new frameworks for thinking about consumption, disposal, and the roles that local governments and ordinary people can play as partners in a project of resource stewardship. By exploring how these two approaches have played out at the national level, Resisting Garbage provides new avenues for evaluating municipal action and fostering practices that will create environmentally meaningful change.
This colorful and perceptive study presents persuasive evidence that the saloon, far from being a magnet for vice and crime, played an important role in working-class community life. Focusing on public drinking in "wide open" Chicago and tightly controlled Boston, Duis offers a provocative discussion of the saloon as a social institution and a locus of the struggle between middle-class notions of privacy and working-class uses of public space.
On February 15, 1851, Shadrach Minkins was serving breakfast at a coffeehouse in Boston when history caught up with him. The first runaway to be arrested in New England under the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, this illiterate Black man from Virginia found himself the catalyst of one of the most dramatic episodes of rebellion and legal wrangling before the Civil War. In a remarkable effort of historical sleuthing, Gary Collison has recovered the true story of Shadrach Minkins’ life and times and perilous flight. His book restores an extraordinary chapter to our collective history and at the same time offers a rare and engrossing picture of the life of an ordinary Black man in nineteenth-century North America.
As Minkins’ journey from slavery to freedom unfolds, we see what day-to-day life was like for a slave in Norfolk, Virginia, for a fugitive in Boston, and for a free Black man in Montreal. Collison recreates the drama of Minkins’s arrest and his subsequent rescue by a band of Black Bostonians, who spirited the fugitive to freedom in Canada. He shows us Boston’s Black community, moved to panic and action by the Fugitive Slave Law, and the previously unknown community established in Montreal by Minkins and other refugee Blacks from the United States. And behind the scenes, orchestrating events from the disastrous Compromise of 1850 through the arrest of Minkins and the trial of his rescuers, is Daniel Webster, who through the exigencies of his dimming political career, took the role of villain.
Webster is just one of the familiar figures in this tale of an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. Others, such as Frederick Douglass, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Harriet Jacobs, and Harriet Beecher Stowe (who made use of Minkins’s Montreal community in Uncle Tom’s Cabin), also appear throughout the narrative. Minkins’ intriguing story stands as a fascinating commentary on the nation’s troubled times—on urban slavery and Boston abolitionism, on the Underground Railroad, and on one of the federal government’s last desperate attempts to hold the Union together.
This book is the first anthology of the autobiographical writings of Peter Randolph, a prominent nineteenth-century former slave who became a black abolitionist, pastor, and community leader.
Randolph’s story is unique because he was freed and relocated from Virginia to Boston, along with his entire plantation cohort. A lawsuit launched by Randolph against his former master’s estate left legal documents that corroborate his autobiographies.
Randolph's writings give us a window into a different experience of slavery and freedom than other narratives currently available and will be of interest to students and scholars of African American literature, history, and religious studies, as well as those with an interest in Virginia history and mid-Atlantic slavery.
In 1834 Harvard dropout Richard Henry Dana Jr. became a common seaman, and soon his Two Years Before the Mast became a classic. Literary acclaim did not erase the young lawyer’s memory of floggings he witnessed aboard ship or undermine his vow to combat injustice. Jeffrey Amestoy tells the story of Dana’s determination to keep that vow.
In the last third of the nineteenth century Boston grew from a crowded merchant town, in which nearly everybody walked to work, to the modern divided metropolis. The street railway created this division of the metropolis into an inner city of commerce and slums and an outer city of commuters’ suburbs. Streetcar Suburbs tells who built the new city, and why, and how.
Included here is a new Introduction that considers the present suburb/city dichotomy and suggests what we can learn from it to assure a livable city of the future.
Long considered the lifeblood of urban African American neighborhoods, churches are held up as institutions dedicated to serving their surrounding communities. Omar McRoberts's work in Four Corners, however, reveals a very different picture. One of the toughest neighborhoods in Boston, Four Corners also contains twenty-nine churches, mostly storefront congregations, within its square half-mile radius. In McRoberts's hands, this area teaches a startling lesson about the relationship between congregations and neighborhoods that will be of interest to everyone concerned with the revitalization of the inner city.
McRoberts finds, for example, that most of the churches in Four Corners are attended and run by people who do not live in the neighborhood but who worship there because of the low overhead. These churches, McRoberts argues, are communities in and of themselves, with little or no attachment to the surrounding area. This disconnect makes the churches less inclined to cooperate with neighborhood revitalization campaigns and less likely to respond to the immediate needs of neighborhood residents. Thus, the faith invested in inner-city churches as beacons of local renewal might be misplaced, and the decision to count on them to administer welfare definitely should be revisited.
As the federal government increasingly moves toward delivering social services through faith-based organizations, Streets of Glory must be read for its trenchant revisionist view of how churches actually work in depressed urban areas.
This is the true tale of two brothers, sons of a successful Jewish contractor, who along with an MIT graduate and a minister’s daughter once competed for headlines with John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and Bonnie and Clyde. The gang was led by the angry, violent, yet often charismatic Murton Millen, a small-time hoodlum and aspiring race-car driver. With his younger brother, Irv, and later joined by neighborhood buddy and MIT graduate Abe Faber, Murt launched a career of increasingly ambitious robberies. But it was only after his sudden marriage to the beautiful eighteen-year-old Norma Brighton that the gang escalated to murder. Their crime wave climaxed at a Needham, Massachusetts, bank on February 2, 1934, when Murt cut down two local police officers—Francis Haddock and Forbes McLeod—with a Thompson submachine gun stolen from state police. The killings, the dogged investigation by two clever detectives, and the record-setting trial with seventeen psychiatrists were national news. In Depression-era America this Boston saga of sex, ethnicity, and bloodshed made the trio and their “red-headed gun moll” infamous. Gorenstein’s account explores the Millen, Faber, and Brighton families and introduces us to cops, psychiatrists, newspaper men and women, and ordinary citizens caught up in the extraordinary Tommy Gun Winter of 1934.
Progressivism, James Connolly shows us, was a language and style of political action available to a wide range of individuals and groups. A diverse array of political and civic figures used it to present themselves as leaders of a communal response to the growing power of illicit interests and to the problems of urban-industrial life. As structural reforms weakened a ward-based party system that helped mute ethnic conflict, this new formula for political mobilization grew more powerful. Its most effective variation in Boston was an "ethnic progressivism" that depicted the city's public life as a clash between its immigrant majority--"the people"--and a wealthy Brahmin elite--"the interests." As this portrayal took hold, Bostonians came to view their city as a community permanently beset by ethnic strife.
In showing that the several reform visions that arose in Boston included not only the progressivism of the city's business leaders but also a series of ethnic progressivisms, Connolly offers a new approach to urban public life in the early twentieth century. He rejects the assumption that ethnic politics was machine politics and employs both institutional and rhetorical analysis to reconstruct the inner workings of neighborhood public life and the social narratives that bound the city together. The result is a deeply textured picture that differs sharply from the traditional view of machine-reform conflict.
Throughout the nineteenth century, working-class activists and middle-class reformers in Boston strived to build alliances in the campaign for labor reform. Though some of these organizations have been familiar to historians for more than a century, this is the first study to trace these cross-class groups from their origins in the early 1830s to the dawn of the Progressive Era.
In addition to analyzing what motivated these workers and reformers to create cross-class organizations, David Zonderman examines the internal tactical debates and external political pressures that fractured them, even as new alliances were formed, and shows how these influences changed over time. He describes what workers and reformers learned about politics and social change within these complex and volatile alliances, and speculates as to whether those lessons have relevance for activists and reformers today.
What emerges from this investigation is a narrative of progress and decline that spans nearly three-quarters of a century, as an ever-shifting constellation of associations debated the meaning of labor reform and the best strategy to secure justice for workers. But the quest for ideological consistency and organizational coherence was not easily achieved. By century's end, not only did Boston look dramatically different from its antebellum ancestor, but its labor reform alliances had lost some of their earlier openhearted optimism and stubborn resilience.
The Boston Harbor Islands have been called Boston's "hidden shores." While some are ragged rocks teeming with coastal wildlife, such as oystercatchers and harbor seals, others resemble manicured parks or have the appearance of wooded hills rising gently out of the water. Largely ignored by historians and previously home to prisons, asylums, and sewage treatment plants, this surprisingly diverse ensemble of islands has existed quietly on the urban fringe over the last four centuries. Even their latest incarnation as a national park and recreational hub has emphasized their separation from, rather than their connection to, the city.
In this book, Pavla Šimková reinterprets the Boston Harbor Islands as an urban archipelago, arguing that they have been an integral part of Boston since colonial days, transformed by the city's changing values and catering to its current needs. Drawing on archival sources, historic maps and photographs, and diaries from island residents, this absorbing study attests that the harbor islands' story is central to understanding the ways in which Boston has both shaped and been shaped by its environment over time.
Through voicemail, apps, websites, and Twitter, Boston’s sophisticated 311 system allows citizens to report potholes, broken streetlights, graffiti, and vandalism that affect everyone’s quality of life. Drawing on Boston’s rich data, Daniel T. O’Brien offers a model of what smart technology can do for cities seeking both growth and sustainability.
For decades now, scholars and politicians alike have argued that the concentration of poverty in city housing projects would produce distrust, alienation, apathy, and social isolation—the disappearance of what sociologists call social capital. But relatively few have examined precisely how such poverty affects social capital or have considered for what reasons living in a poor neighborhood results in such undesirable effects.
This book examines a neglected Puerto Rican enclave in Boston to consider the pros and cons of social scientific thinking about the true nature of ghettos in America. Mario Luis Small dismantles the theory that poor urban neighborhoods are inevitably deprived of social capital. He shows that the conditions specified in this theory are vaguely defined and variable among poor communities. According to Small, structural conditions such as unemployment or a failed system of familial relations must be acknowledged as affecting the urban poor, but individual motivations and the importance of timing must be considered as well.
Brimming with fresh theoretical insights, Villa Victoria is an elegant work of sociology that will be essential to students of urban poverty.
Different conceptions of the purpose of charity and the role of the state have long been at the center of the debate over American welfare policy. Yet as Susan Traverso shows in this informative study of early twentieth-century Boston, ethnic, religious, and gender conflicts also have had a significant impact on welfare politics.
Between 1910 and 1940, Boston's growing immigrant population repeatedly clashed with the city's traditional elite over how to provide assistance to the needy. While Yankee politicians and the leaders of Protestant charities argued that relief should be delivered by private organizations, Irish politicians and officials at Catholic and Jewish charities advocated extensive public welfare programs. Competing views of gender roles further complicated these disagreements. The campaign for widows' pensions, for example, won wide popular support even as public welfare programs that would primarily benefit men-such as unemployment insurance and old age assistance-failed to gain acceptance.
In the 1920s, the debate over welfare shifted focus as prolonged periods of unemployment brought demands for aid to men who had lost their jobs, particularly those with families to support. Using the rhetoric of the Mothers' Aid campaign, Irish politicians broadened the idea of "acceptable dependency" to include men who needed jobs to provide for their own dependents. By lessening the stigma of male dependency on public welfare, these gendered arguments encouraged the expansion of public aid and set the stage for New Deal welfare programs of the 1930s. During that decade, Traverso contends, the idealized family headed by a male breadwinner became the basis for a shared vision of gender relations that mediated the political and ethnic debate over welfare policy.
Founded by the Puritans in 1630 and the site of many of the American Revolution's major precursors and events (including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and Paul Revere’s midnight ride, among others), Boston has played—and continues to play—an influential role in the shaping of the historic, intellectual, cultural, and political landscapes of the United States. And Boston has a significantly rich tradition of cinematic representation. While Harvard is central to many of the films set in the Greater Boston area, World Film Locations: Boston considers the full spectrum of Boston’s abundant aesthetic potential, reviewing films located within as well as far beyond Harvard’s hallowed halls and ivy-covered gates.
Many iconic American classics, blockbusters, romantic comedies, and legal thrillers, as well as films examining Boston’s criminal underside, particularly in juxtaposition to the city’s elitist high society, were filmed on location in the city’s streets and back lots. World Film Locations: Boston looks in depth into a highly select group of forty-six films such as Love Story, Good Will Hunting, The Friends of Eddy Coyle, and The Social Network, among many others, presented at the intersection of critical analysis and stunning visual critique (with material from the films themselves as well as photographs of the contemporary city locations). Featuring articles and film scene reviews written by a variety of leading contemporary film writers, critics, and scholars, this book is a multimedia resource that will find a welcome audience in movie lovers in Beantown and beyond.