And don't forget ...:
Sorry for the light blogging. My life has been a little hectic lately. But when Dan
started his Essential Boston Reading List, well, I had to chime in, along with Chris
. I, too, would make Common Ground
top-of-the-list mandatory reading. And I hereby second Dan's nomination of George V. Higgins' The Friends of Eddie Coyle
in the fiction category. My additions to any Essential Boston Reading List would include:The Last Hurrah
by Edwin O'Connor. A fictional look at James Michael Curley and the Irish-Yankee battles of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Key to understanding Boston politics.Black Mass
by Gerard O'Neill and Dick Lehr. Until I read and render final verdict on Howie's Brothers Bulgers, this remains my top book on Whitey, the mob and politics in Boston. First read Black Mass and then Friends of Eddie Coyle. You'll appreciate how brilliant and perceptive Higgins was decades before Zip et gang began unintentionally imitating art.Mayflower
by Nathaniel Philbrick. Just came out. Already a mini-classic in my view. Fills in so many historical gaps that I wasn't clear about before: just who were the Puritans and the Pokanokets and their sachem Massasoit? What sparked King Philip's War and what exactly happened? It's all here.
Paul Revere's Ride
by David Hackett Fischer. Fischer shows how Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had it right and the revisionists have it wrong. Revere was a common-man hero in his time and deserved to be rescued from obscurity by Longfellow. Fischer's description of the events of April 19, 1775 is awesome.Now We Are Enemies
by Thomas J. Fleming. Read this after reading Paul Revere's Ride. Bunker Hill was an epic showdown with long-term ramifications for both Americans and the British during and after the Revolution.
All of these books, in my opinion, give rich details and hints about the character of Boston and Bostonians. ... A big thanks to Dan for getting the ball rolling on Essential Boston Reading.Update
-- Correction: Philbrick's Mayflower won't come out until May. I read an advance copy delivered to the Herald. You can pre-order it here