Welcome to the City Record and Boston News-Letter. If this is your first visit, you may want to read this post to find out a little more about what I do here or to learn a little more about me. If you look in the left hand column, you will see the various categories I post about. You can also use the Google search box in the right hand column to find specific information within the blog. My focus is primarily Boston's history (broadly defined) and architecture although I will venture to other cities and topics on occasion If you want a quick sense of the style and scope of the City Record, this post, "The Unweaving of Small Patterns in Downtown Boston" is good, as is the post "Harrison Avenue Widened". You will also notice advertising from the Boston Blogs network, which helps pay the bills.
Boston Books I use the splendid library management tool LibraryThing which allows you to view the books which are in my personal library. Enter a search term in the box below or click on the link below to continue on to the recommended books list
Note: there is a new book, Boston's Back Bay: The Story of America's Greatest Nineteenth-Century Landfill Project
which I am currently reading and writing a review of. While I'm not
done with the book (I received a review copy yesterday) I can say that
I've learned enough new information already to start to recommend it.
Expect a full review by the end of the week.
Suburbs : The Process of Growth in Boston, 1870-1900, Second
Edition, Sam Bass, Jr. Warner, Harvard University Press (2004). A pioneering study in urban
history first published in 1962. Illustrations, maps, and
explanations of the growth of Boston's inner ring suburbs, especially
Roxbury and Dorchester. An excellent reference.
Winthrop's Boston; portrait of a puritan town, 1630-1649; Darrett Bruce Rutman, New York, Norton [1972, c1965] The best history of early Boston.
Common ground : a turbulent decade in the lives of three American families; J. Anthony Lukas, New York: Knopf: 1985. The classic study of three families and the effects of busing in the early 1970s.
Boston against busing : race, class, and ethnicity in the 1960s and 1970s; Ronald P. Formisano, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, c1991. A more dispassionate view of busing than Common Ground the two can (and should) be read together.
Planning the city upon a hill : Boston since 1630; Lawrence W. Kennedy, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, c1992. An overview of planning in Boston, weak for the years until the 1820s, then picks up in detail. I see a pro-urban renewal slant, you may not.
Cityscapes of Boston : an American city through time; Robert Campbell, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992. Photographs of old Boston and present day Boston with commentary by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Campbell and the award winning photographer Peter Vanderwarker.
Improper Bostonians : lesbian and gay history from the Puritans to Playland; Boston: Beacon Press, c1998. Weaker on the earlier years of Boston, stronger when dealing with personal stories. The map of gay and lesbian related locations in Boston is very useful at showing an alternative way of looking at the city.
Mapping Boston; Alex Krieger, editor, [Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press], c1999. This beautifully illustrated book should be on the coffee table of anyone who loves Boston.
Built in Boston : city and suburb, 1800-2000; Douglass Shand-Tucci, Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, c1999. An art historical approach to Boston's architecture. Shand-Tucci knows what he likes and isn't afraid to tell you, but also scrupulously researched and documented.
The hub : Boston past and present; Thomas H. O'Connor, Boston: Northeastern University Press, c2001. Until a truly great single volume history of Boston is written, O'Connor's book is the next best thing.
Gaining ground : a history of landmaking in Boston; Nancy S. Seasholes, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, c2003. More than most cities, Boston's land mass is the product of human endeavor. Nancy Seaholes documents, explains, and shows how it all happened.