A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis: Boston 1850-1900

A City So Grand The Rise of an American Metropolis Boston Once upon a time Boston Town was an insulated New England township But the community was destined for greatness Between and Boston underwent a stunning metamorphosis to emerge as one of th

  • Title: A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis: Boston 1850-1900
  • Author: Stephen Puleo
  • ISBN: 9780807050439
  • Page: 176
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Once upon a time, Boston Town was an insulated New England township But the community was destined for greatness Between 1850 and 1900, Boston underwent a stunning metamorphosis to emerge as one of the world s great metropolises one that achieved national and international prominence in politics, medicine, education, science, social activism, literature, commerce, andOnce upon a time, Boston Town was an insulated New England township But the community was destined for greatness Between 1850 and 1900, Boston underwent a stunning metamorphosis to emerge as one of the world s great metropolises one that achieved national and international prominence in politics, medicine, education, science, social activism, literature, commerce, and transportation Long before the frustrations of our modern era, in which the notion of accomplishing great things often appears overwhelming or even impossible, Boston distinguished itself in the last half of the nineteenth century by proving it could tackle and overcome the most arduous of challenges and obstacles with repeated and often resounding success, becoming a city of vision and daring.In A City So Grand, Stephen Puleo chronicles this remarkable period in Boston s history, in his trademark page turning style Our journey begins with the ferocity of the abolitionist movement of the 1850s and ends with the glorious opening of America s first subway station, in 1897 In between we witness the thirty five year engineering and city planning feat of the Back Bay project, Boston s explosion in size through immigration and annexation, the devastating Great Fire of 1872 and subsequent rebuilding of downtown, and Alexander Graham Bell s first telephone utterance in 1876 from his lab at Exeter Place.These lively stories and many paint an extraordinary portrait of a half century of progress, leadership, and influence that turned a New England town into a world class city, giving us the Boston we know today.

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    About “Stephen Puleo

    • Stephen Puleo

      Stephen Puleo is an author, historian, university teacher, public speaker, and communications professional His six narrative nonfiction works include American Treasures The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address fall 2016 The Caning The Assault That Drove America to Civil War 2012 A City So Grand The Rise of an American Metropolis, Boston 1850 1900 2010 The Boston Italians A Story of Pride, Perseverance and Paesani, from the Years of the Great Immigration to the Present Day 2007 Due to Enemy Action The True World War II Story of the USS Eagle 56 2005 Dark Tide The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 2003 All of his books have been Boston regional bestsellers In addition, Steve s books have been reviewed favorably by the New Yorker, the Boston Globe, The National Review, Forbes, Parade magazine, the Associated Press, the Portland Press Herald, the Providence Journal, the Denver Post, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Hartford Courant, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes and Noble Review, the Fredericksburg Star, ForeWord magazine, Shelf Awareness, Library Journal, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly An experienced, dynamic, and in demand speaker and presenter, he has made than 485 public appearances, before thousands of readers, since the publication of his first book in 2003 Events have included bookstore signings, keynote addresses, presentations at libraries, historical societies, community events, seminars, panel discussions, industry events, professional associations, book clubs than 50 have chosen his books , newspaper and magazine interviews, radio and television appearances, and appearances at universities, and public and private K 12 schools His books have been woven into the curricula of numerous high schools and colleges More than 20 communities have selected his books as community wide reads Steve also conducts book club tours of Boston s North End, one of the nation s most colorful and historic neighborhoods.Among his showcase appearances have been serving as keynote speaker at the Northeast Regional Association of the Social Studies than 600 history teachers as a guest speaker for the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Massachusetts Superior Court as a panel participant with Italian American and Jewish American scholars entitled Italy and the Holocaust The Calabria Connection, presented at UMass Boston and as a speaker at the National Archives on his latest book, American Treasures A former award winning newspaper reporter and contributor of feature stories and book reviews to publications that include American History magazine, Politico, and the Boston Globe, He has taught history at Suffolk University in Boston, and also has develped and taught numerous history and writing workshops for high school and college students, as well as for adults who aspire to be writers Puleo holds a master s degree in history From Italy to Boston s North End Italian Immigration and Settlement, 1890 1910, UMass Boston, 1994 , for which he received the Dean s Award for Academic Achievement, and was the Graduate Convocation keynote speaker He teaches at Suffolk University in Boston.In addition to his strong journalism and historical writing background, Steve has 30 years of experience in public relations, corporate communications, speechwriting, speech coaching, and marketing He has won numerous corporate communications awards and has been both a keynote speaker and served on communications panels at industry conferences Steve is the past recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by the Appian Club, an Italian American organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Italian culture in Massachusetts He is also the recipient of the prestigious i migliori award, presented by the Pirandello Lyceum to Italian Americans who have excelled in their fie

    256 thoughts on “A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis: Boston 1850-1900

    • A well-researched book that just kind of plodded along. It could have been a lot more exciting. I did learn new things about my former city though, especially the part about the Underground Railroad.

    • 3.5 stars. I read this as part of the tour guide enrichment program at the Boston Public Library. The library itself receives only two (maybe three?) passing mentions in the book, but there was certainly more than enough history about the area in which the library is located (Back Bay), the changing demographics, and the Great Fire for me to turn my one-hour tour into a two or three-hour history lesson. The type in my copy of this book, though, was so excruciatingly small that I wasn’t exactly [...]

    • A great education about the amazing city of Boston. The Author turned a history lesson into an incredible book. Highly recommend it.

    • Having lived in and around Boston for nearly all of my life, it was exciting to read a book that dealt with so many familiar topics that I had heard about in history classes growing up as a kid in New England. What made the book real for me, however, and more than just a textbook, were the smaller stories that eventually led to larger, more historical moments, but that are not so widely known in and of themselves. For instance, the story of Anthony Burns, an escaped slave, who was forcibly retur [...]

    • I loved this book - by the author of Dark Tide another favorite of mine. It is incredible how much went on during this 50 year time period and I learnt so much and gained more insight into things I did know about Boston's leadership in the abolitionist movement and women's rights, building of the subway and railroad and how the word "commuter" came to be - some railroads offered lower fare for people who took short daily rides to boston for work - known as commuted fares. the Irish story from po [...]

    • What a fast historical read! I was a little worried reading this book at first. I had read The Boston Italians by Stephen Puleo before and while I enjoyed it as an Italian American and Bostonian, some parts of were so detail-heavy and slow that I sometimes found myself putting it down for The Metro or whatever else is available to read in the subway. This book really kept my interest though! It chronicles the 4 main events/stories from 1850-1900 in Boston: Boston's part in the abolitionist movem [...]

    • I finished the book just in time to enjoy Stephen Puleo's participation in our local library's author speaking engagements. He again spoke to a delighted, large audience, addressing the highlights in the book: the incredible decade of the eighteen fifties and the abolitionists in Boston and surrounding areas, the Fugitive Slave Law and Boston's humiliation when a slave was forcibly removed from the city, the later decades that saw the filling in of the back bay, accomplished in thirty years and [...]

    • I took this book with me last week on my trip to Boston, to go to a conference and spend time with some family. It made the book more real and enjoyable to read it while I was actually there. I could connect what the author was talking about with the places that I was seeing. The author is from Boston and knows it well. This books focuses on a variety of achievements that first ocurred in Boston, like Alexandar Graham Bell and the telephone, the first udnerground subway and some large scale cons [...]

    • Did a quick data mine on the post-Civil War chapters. Very conversational and foregoes synthesis and conclusion for extended biographical anecdotes. People are interesting, so it's this attention to individual people that makes it a lively read-- as long as you can get attached to the figures being discussed. The argument doesn't always make clear connections between the lives of individuals and the movements, institutions, cultural formations (etc.) they were engaged with, so it's not the power [...]

    • Stephen Puleo has again created an unforgettable story of Boston this time from 1850 - 1900. I found that he was able to capture the feel of those decades by focusing on several major developments with just enough detail to express the marvel of the undertaking without so much specificity that the power was diminished. Some of the topics that he included are the abolitionist movement, building of the railroads, filling of Back Bay, immigration,MA troops that fought in the Civil War, the fire tha [...]

    • Puleo has no need to exaggerate the importance of Boston during the period he writes about. One just has to look at a list of some of Boston's "firsts"--First state to have free compulsory education, first state to have a free municipal library and first library to allow borrowing, and first state to have a subway system. The first black regiment in the Civil War, made up of liberated slaves from North Carolina, was organized and led by white Bostonians. Boston was also home to some of the most [...]

    • Stephen Puleo's Dark Tide and The Boston Italians have enriched my knowledge of Boston's history, especially for periods of the late 19th and early 20th centuries where my understanding has been fairly limited. This is the best of Puleo's work I've had the fortune to read so far. It might seem strange to cover this particular 50 year period, but it is astounding to learn what the people of Boston actually did during the abolitionist period, the Civil War, and the flowering of innovation (telepho [...]

    • Puleo gives us some interesting Boston history from 1850-1900: Longfellow's liberties with history and Paul Revere's ride, the return of escaped Sims to slavery in South and what that meant to abolitionists, Charless Sumner's contributions to equal rights, the Great Fire of 1872, the landfill to create the Back Bay for the Brahmins, and the early experiences of Irish and Italian immigrants to Boston). His concept of putting them altogether in a book to illustrate Boston's rise as a leader among [...]

    • One of the most engaging reads in the non-fiction genre that I've experienced in years. I think helps that I'm familiar with Boston, though there was a lot I didn't know about it's history - certainly during the period this book covers. The author did a great job of pulling various threads together so you could see how history was woven - sometimes in unexpected ways. I will likely seek out other books by Stephen Puleo.

    • A City So Grand is compulsively readable and chock full of interesting Boston history without ever being boring or dry. Puleo explores Boston in 1850-1900--a little recognized era that bought big change. Defined by the principles of the American Revolution, forever changed by the abolitionist movement and the Civil War, and unexpectedly daring in social and technological progress, the city of Boston stands front and center in this book; a character in its own right.

    • As a Back Bay resident with a love for history and city planning, I couldn't have stumbled upon a more intriguing, can't-put-down read. Not only did I learn that Alexander Grahme Bell finish inventing the telephone a block away from my adobe, that it took 40 years to fill the Back Bay, and how Post Office Square got its name, but truly found a new appreciation for the city I currently call home--and not to mention, picked up some great party facts along the read.

    • This book was recommended to me by my son who lives and works in Boston. We are planning on moving there in a few years and are always looking for something new to read and learn about the Grand City. This was very informative, and exciting to read for a non-fiction book. I couldn't put it down. Can't wait to go over Labor Day Weekend and check out some of the spots mentioned in the book. Makes one proud to be a Bostonian.

    • So I'm 50 pages in and I've put this book down in disgust at least twice. I'm going to give it one more chance and I'm done. I'm having a real problem with this guy's possession with peppering every single paragraph with quotes. There are some passages where he's basically just joining together 3 or 4 quotes from different sources. Now I'm all for a good supporting quote judiciously used, but this guy is just taking the piss at this stage.Ok, deep breathI'll give it the weekend.

    • An interesting look at the major events in the history of Boston through the second half of the 19th century. He covers the abolishionist movement, Irish immigration, ESP after the famine, the filling in of the Back Bay ( a 30year effort), the growth of railroads and commuting as the city grew, and the first underground subway system in the US.

    • Thanks to my in-laws, I have owned this since the month it was released! However, I'm just getting around to reading it now, and I can already tell I'm going to love it. All his other books have proven fascinating, and honestly is there a bigger Boston history buff out there besides me? (and, well, Stephen Puleo?)

    • A nice overview introducing Boston. I would have appreciated a little more detail, but there is a lot to cover and I guess I can find other books for deeper reads into specific events. My one complaint was the repetitive writing style. Each chapter was in medias res, with some anecdote spoiling the topic. Then we'd get a summary sentence telling us what to expect, then more details.

    • Engaging reading. Puleo weaves the various episodes together well. The author is prone to pronouncing Boston's leadership in various areas without much comparison to other U.S. cities. Puleo documents the demographic changes driving much of Boston's evolution, but does not analyze other factors that would have given more context. Enjoyable and brisk history.

    • Puleo takes readers on a fascinating journey through 50 momentous years in the life of this remarkable city. The sections on filling the Back Bay and building the first subway in America were so interesting I wanted them to go on longer. But the extensive bibliography gets me headed in those, and other, directions. One quite major shortcoming of this book: no maps.

    • Just what I hoped for. Thorough coverage given to the filling in of the Back Bay and the subways. Little heavier than I wanted covering the abolitionist movement in Boston. Would have loved a lot more pictures of the Back Bay, perhaps a Kindle limitation.

    • I'm not a huge history buff, but Puleo's storytelling skills are so terrific. He is an unabashed Boston booster, but he still doesn't pull any punches regarding the not-so-great moments in the city's history. Really fun read.

    • This was an overly researched and a bit too textbooky for me. I wanted to like it a lot, and I do like the idea of learning about Boston in this time frame. It just didn't click for me. I wish it had. I wanted it to be more accessible, and it cried out for more illustrations/pictures.

    • Book group selection. Good read on Boston's spirit of revolution that runs through advancing civil rights, adsorbing immigrant populations, developing infrastructure and first in the world inventions.

    • Very readable, a kind of narrative history that's easy to whip through, but I could have used a little more summation/argument to back up his main point. A fun overview of some interesting episodes during this period, but the grand conclusions seem a little unearned.

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