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Civil War Boston

Home Front and Battlefield

Thomas H. O'Connor

In this engaging volume, Thomas H. O’Connor examines the unique role that Boston and its inhabitants played in the Civil War and discusses the impact of the turbulent war years on the city’s civilian population. His captivating narrative follows the experiences of four distinctive and significant groups of people who formed antebellum Boston—businessmen, Irish Catholic immigrants, African Americans, and women. Interweaving vivid portraits of the Boston community with major political and military events of the Civil War, O’Connor relates how the war forever changed lives, disrupted homes, altered work habits, reshaped political allegiances, and transformed ideas.

Rich with colorful anecdotes about local figures, both renowned and long-forgotten, this is a fascinating account that will appeal to Civil War buffs, historians, and general readers alike.

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Clearing the Coastline

The Nineteenth-Century Ecological & Cultural Transformations of Cape Cod

Matthew McKenzie

In just over a century Cape Cod was transformed from barren agricultural wasteland to bountiful fishery to pastoral postcard wilderness suitable for the tourist trade. This complex social, ecological, and scientific transformation fundamentally altered how Cape Codders used and managed their local marine resources, and determined how they eventually lost them. The Cape Cod story takes the usual land-use progression--from pristine wilderness to exploitation of resources to barren wasteland--and turns it on its head. Clearing the Coastline shows how fishermen abandoned colonial traditions of small-scale fisheries management, and how ecological, cultural, and scientific changes, as well as commercial pressures, eroded established, local conservation regimes. Without these protections, small fish and small fishermen alike were cleared from Cape Cod's coastal margins to make room for new people, whose reinvention of the Cape as a pastoral "wilderness" allowed them to overlook the social and ecological dislocation that came before.

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Cleveland Amory

Media Curmudgeon and Animal Rights Crusader

Marilyn Greenwald

In this first comprehensive biography of Cleveland Amory, Marilyn Greenwald applies her considerable journalistic skills to a searching account of the complex life and times of this successful writer turned dedicated animal-rights activist. Amory’s intense commitment to his chosen cause, ignited by the spectacle of a Mexican bullfight he covered as a young journalist, permeated every aspect of his life.
His best-selling books included three classic social critiques — The Proper Bostonians, The Last Resorts, and Who Killed Society? — and his popular series on “Polar Bear,” the cat he rescued from the streets of Manhattan on Christmas Eve in 1978, now available as The Compleat Cat. In the 1960s and 1970s, Amory wrote prolifically for TV Guide (for which he was chief critic for over a decade), Saturday Review, Parade, and other publications. He was a regular commentator on Today until 1963, when he was summarily fired for a story on animal abuse that greatly disturbed NBC’s breakfast audience. In 1967, Amory founded the Fund for Animals, employing his charm, intelligence, and understanding of human nature to garner national publicity for a movement that was, in the 1960s, relatively obscure. He was the first to use celebrities — including Mary Tyler Moore, Doris Day, Grace Kelly, Dick Cavett, and Jack Paar — to rally support for animal rights.
Cleveland Amory reinvented himself several times over the course of his life, and Marilyn Greenwald follows his every step with a penetrating analysis of the man, the times, the animal-rights movement, and Amory’s extraordinary legacy.

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Colonial New Hampshire

A History

Jere R. Daniell

In his full-scale history of New Hampshire from the Algonkin people to the coming of the American Revolution, the historian Jere R. Daniell discusses the Indian population, the development of community life, the founding of New Hampshire as a royal colony, the political adjustments that existence as a separate colony necessitated, the nature of New Hampshire’s social institutions, and many other subjects. His epilogue links colonial New Hampshire to subsequent developments in the state.

This volume will interest historians of colonial New England and New Hampshire.

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The Complete Stories of William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen Bryant wrote short stories? Indeed he did, and this volume collects and evaluates them for the first time.

During the seven years before the 1832 British publication of Poems firmly established his reputation as a poet in the U.S., Bryan became a key figure in New York City's circle of fiction writers. His tales compare favorably with those of his contemporary Washington Irving, and his varied experiments in a new genre anticipate future developments by half a century and more.

Gado’s previous book presented Bryant as a major exponent of American literary nationalism and the prime antecedent of Whitman and Frost; here, he retrieves a body of short fiction from the fringe of oblivion and both shines a light on the neglected decade preceding Poe and Hawthorne and examines  Bryant’s tales as part of that history.
 
"Frank Gado’s first-rate selection of William Cullen Bryant’s poetry and prose and his persuasive essays on Bryant’s contribution to American prosody and culture restore [him] to his rightful place in American literary history as the philosophical poet too long overlooked. An essential volume."
—Brenda Wineapple, White Heat and Ecstatic Nation 

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The Court-Martial of Paul Revere

A Son of Liberty and America's Forgotten Military Disaster

Michael M. Greenburg

At the height of the American Revolution in 1779, Massachusetts launched the Penobscot Expedition, a massive military and naval undertaking designed to force the British from the strategically important coast of Maine. What should have been an easy victory for the larger American force quickly descended into a quagmire of arguing, disobedience, and failed strategy. In the end, not only did the British retain their stronghold, but the entire flotilla of American vessels was lost in what became the worst American naval disaster prior to Pearl Harbor.

In the inevitable finger-pointing that followed the debacle, the already-famous Lieutenant Colonel Paul Revere, commissioned as the expedition’s artillery commander, was shockingly charged by fellow officers with neglect of duty, disobeying orders, and cowardice. Though he was not formally condemned by the court of inquiry, rumors still swirled around Boston concerning his role in the disaster, and so the fiery Revere spent the next several years of his life actively pursuing a court-martial, in an effort to resuscitate the one thing he valued above all—his reputation.

The single event defining Revere to this day is his ride from Charlestown to Lexington on the night of April 18, 1775, made famous by Longfellow’s poem of 1860. Greenburg’s is the first book to give a full account of Revere’s conduct before, during, and after the disastrous Penobscot Expedition, and of his questionable reputation at the time, which only Longfellow’s poem eighty years later could rehabilitate. Thanks to extensive research and a riveting narrative that brings the battles and courtroom drama to life, The Court-Martial of Paul Revere strips away the myths that surround the Sons of Liberty and reveals the humanity beneath. It is a must-read for anyone who yearns to understand the early days of our country.

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Danger on the Page

A Fiction Writer's Guide to Sex, Violence, Dead Narrators, and Other Challenges

Brian Shawver

Although fiction writers must concern themselves with “big picture” issues such as plot, theme, and character development, much of the day-to-day work of writing involves finding answers to seemingly minor questions: How should I describe the exterior of a house? How can I construct the voice of a historical narrator with authenticity? How should I depict a physically atypical character? Few books on the market address the problems and opportunities present in these and other questions, yet they are the ones that most writers grapple with on a daily basis.

Danger on the Page: A Fiction Writer’s Guide to Sex, Violence, Dead Narrators, and Other Challenges identifies and explores some of the more common and intractable situational challenges of fiction writing, with chapters grouped into the general subject areas such as scenes, characters, points of view, and settings. Shawver delves into the pitfalls and opportunities of writing about sex, violence, sports, and love; he examines writing from the perspective of a different race, gender, or species; he interrogates conventional beliefs about the use of brand names, the description of architecture, and the portrayal of nature. Throughout, he gives dozens of examples from both literary and commercial fiction so readers can borrow (or reject) other writers’ techniques and explore the myriad challenges of fiction writing on their own.

A lively and witty approach to a diverse range of specific writing issues, Shawver’s book will appeal especially to intermediate-level writers seeking to bring their craft to the next level.

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Death by Cyanide

The Murder of Dr. Autumn Klein

Paula Reed Ward

At just forty-one years old, Dr. Autumn Klein, a neurologist specializing in seizure disorders in pregnant women, had already been named chief of women’s neurology at Pittsburgh’s largest health system. More than just successful in her field, Dr. Klein was beloved—by her patients, colleagues, family, and friends. She collapsed suddenly on April 17, 2013, writhing in agony on her kitchen floor, and died three days later. The police said her husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, twenty-three years Klein’s senior, killed her through cyanide poisoning. Though Ferrante left a clear trail of circumstantial evidence, Klein’s death from cyanide might have been overlooked if not for the investigators who were able to use Ferrante’s computer, statements from the staff at his lab, and his own seemingly odd actions at the hospital during his wife’s treatment to piece together what appeared to be a long-term plan to end his wife’s life.

In Death by Cyanide, Paula Reed Ward, reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, describes the murder investigation and the trial in this sensational case, taking us from the poisoning and the medical staff’s heroic measures to save Klein’s life to the investigation of Ferrante and the emotion and drama inside the courtroom.

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Deluge

Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont’s Flash Floods, and How One Small State Saved Itself

Peggy Shinn

On August 28, 2011, after pounding the Caribbean and the U.S. Eastern seaboard for more than a week, Hurricane Irene finally made landfall in New Jersey. As the storm headed into New England, it was quickly downgraded to a tropical storm. And by Sunday afternoon, national news outlets were giving postmortems on the damage. Except for some flooding in low-lying areas, New York City--Irene's biggest target--had escaped its worst-case scenario. Story over.

But the story wasn't over. As Irene's eye drifted north, its bands of heavy rains twisted westward over Vermont's Green Mountains. The mountains forced these bands upward, wringing the rain out of them like water from a sponge. Streams and rivers were transformed into torrents of brown water and debris, gouging mountainsides, reshaping valleys, washing out roads, pulling apart bridges, and carrying away homes, livestock, and automobiles. For weeks, mountain towns were isolated, with no way in or out, and thousands of people were left homeless. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, it fell on the shoulders of ordinary Vermonters to help victims and rebuild the state.

Deluge is the complete story of the floods, the rescue, and the recovery, as seen through the eyes of the people who lived through them: Wilmington's Lisa Sullivan, whose bookstore was flooded, and town clerk Susie Haughwout, who saved the town records; Tracy Payne, who lost her home in Jamaica--everything in it, and the land on which it sat; Geo Honigford in South Royalton, who lost his crops, but put his own mess on hold to help others in the town; the men who put U.S. Route 4 back together at breakneck speed; and the entire village of Pittsfield, completely isolated after the storm, and its inspirational story of real community.

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Denman Ross and American Design Theory

Marie Frank

In this masterful intellectual and cultural biography of Denman Ross (1853–1935), the American design theorist, educator, art collector, and painter who taught at Harvard for over 25 years, Marie Frank has produced a significant artistic resurrection. An important regional figure in Boston’s fine arts scene (he remains one of the largest single donors to the collections of the MFA to this day), Ross was a friend and colleague of Arthur Wesley Dow, Bernard Berenson, Jay Hambidge, and others. He gained national and international renown with his design theory, which ushered in a shift from John Ruskin’s romantic naturalism to the formalist aesthetic that characterizes modern art and architecture. Ross’s theory attracted artists, Arts and Crafts artisans, and architects, and helped shape architectural education, scholarship, and museum practices. This biography of an important intellectual figure is also a fascinating and illuminating guide to a pivotal point in American cultural history and a reminder of the days when Boston was America’s salon.

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