Boston a to Z

Overview

From its origins as a Puritan settlement on the Shawmut Peninsula to the multicultural capital of the knowledge industry that it is today, the city of Boston has played a significant role in our nation's history. In this book, the preeminent historian of Boston, Thomas H. O'Connor, takes readers on a delightful tour of the city, past and present. Drawing on lifelong acquaintance as a native son and scholar, O'Connor has assembled a personal, informal, and eclectic series of ...

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Overview

From its origins as a Puritan settlement on the Shawmut Peninsula to the multicultural capital of the knowledge industry that it is today, the city of Boston has played a significant role in our nation's history. In this book, the preeminent historian of Boston, Thomas H. O'Connor, takes readers on a delightful tour of the city, past and present. Drawing on lifelong acquaintance as a native son and scholar, O'Connor has assembled a personal, informal, and eclectic series of essays about Boston's people, places, and events.

Along the way you will meet figures of national significance and local heroes (or rogues), from John Adams and Phillis Wheatley to "Honey Fitz" and the Brink's gang; visit spaces sacred and profane, from the African Meeting House and Holy Cross Cathedral to Filene's Basement and the L Street Bathhouse; learn about institutions of civic importance and local color, from the Museum of Fine Arts and Massachusetts General Hospital to private clubs and nightspots; and be enlightened about the lore surrounding such quintessentially Boston topics as baked beans, the Curse of the Bambino, and the Steaming Kettle.

Boston A to Z wears its learning lightly but never fails to inform as it entertains. While celebrating some of Boston's finest achievements, it doesn't shy away from darker episodes. Longtime residents will find enlightenment about familiar and arcane aspects of their city, and visitors or newcomers will enjoy an engaging introduction to the life, culture, and history of Boston.

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Editorial Reviews

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
In eclectic essays—from Abigail Adams to the Zoo—O'Connor offers up nuggets of trivia that are informative and funny.
Mark Greif
Bostonians will want this book at hand, to answer inquisitive visitors and to know the minutiae of the city...
Times Literary Supplement [UK]
Michael Kenney
O'Connor has now, in Boston A to Z, written a book about everybody's Boston...
Boston Globe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674006829
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas H. O'Connor is Professor of History, Emeritus, and University Historian, Boston College. He is the author of numerous works on the history of Boston and New England.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Travels with My Aunt Nellie

Map of Boston

Abigail Adams

John Adams

Sam Adams

African Meeting House

Ancient and Honorables

Arnold Arboretum

Athenaeum

Crispus Attucks

Bathhouses

Beacon Hill

The Big Dig

The Birth of a Nation

William Blackstone

Blue Hill Avenue

Boston, England

Boston Accent

Boston Associates

Boston Baked Beans

Boston College

Boston Cream Pie

Boston Latin School

Boston Marathon

Boston Marriage

Boston Massacre

Boston Public Library

Boston Stock Exchange

Boston Stone

Boston Strangler

The Boston Strong Boy

Boston Tea Party

Boston Terrier

Boston University

The Bostonian Society

Anne Bradstreet

Brahmins

Bridges

The Brink's Robbery

Broad Street Riot

The Broadcloth Mob

Brook Farm

Charles Bulfinch

Bunker Hill Monument

Busing

Melnea Cass

Castle Island

The Cathedral

Cemeteries

Children's Hospital

Chinatown

Christian Science Church

Citgo Sign

City Hall

Clubs

Cocoanut Grove Fire

The Combat Zone

The Common

USS Constitution

John Singleton Copley

Curse of the Bambino

Frances Greely Curtis

Custom House

Durgin-Park

Mary Dyer

Emerald Necklace

Leif Ericsson

Evacuation Day

Famine Memorial

Faneuil Hall

Fannie Farmer

Fenway Park

Fidelity Investments

The 54th Regiment

Filene's Basement

Floating Hospital

Freedom Trail

Fugitive Slaves

"Gangplank Bill"

The Garden

William Lloyd Garrison

The Great Fire

Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Sarah Hale

Harvard University

Hatch Shell

The Hi-Hat

Holocaust Memorial

"Honey Fitz"

Julia Ward Howe

The Hub

Anne Hutchinson

"The Ice King"

Influenza Epidemic

"Mrs. Jack"

Jimmy's Harborside

Jordan Marsh

The Steaming Kettle

King Philip's War

King's Chapel

"Know-Nothings"

The Last Hurrah

The Late George Apley

The Liberty Tree

Locke-Ober's

Logan International Airport

Louisburg Square

Lowell Institute

"The Mahatma"

Make Way for Ducklings

Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts Historical Society

Mechanics Hall

"Mister Boston"

The Molasses Explosion

Museum of Fine Arts

The "New Boston"

Newspaper Row

North End

Northeastern University

Old Corner Bookstore

The Old Howard

Old North Church

Old South Meeting House

Old State House

John Boyle O'Reilly

Park Street Church

Parker House

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody

Perkins School for the Blind

Pine Street Inn

The Police Strike

The Ponzi Scheme

The Pops

The Pru

Public Garden

Quabbin Reservoir

The Quebec Act

Quincy Market

"The Rascal King"

Paul Revere House

The Rise of Silas Lapham

Ritz-Carlton

The Sarah Roberts Case

Sacco-Vanzetti Case

The Sacred Cod

John Singer Sargent

Scollay Square

"Southie"

State House

Lucy Stone

Gilbert Stuart

Symphony Hall

The "T"

Three-Deckers

Triangular Trade

Trinity Church

William Monroe Trotter

Union Oyster House

Ursuline Convent

The Vault

Hotel Vendome

Vilna Shul

The Ward Boss

WASPs

Watch and Ward Society

Webster-Parkman Murder Case

The West End

Phillis Wheatley

The White Fund

Roger Williams

John Winthrop

Women's City Club

The X-Way

Yankees

The Zoo

Acknowledgments

Index

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