I had been meaning to write to you about your Boston reading list, and got sidetracked. I thought it was of no more interest to you until I noted your Sacco & Vanzetti post.
First - they were guilty. Even Upon Sinclair, who came to Boston to write a book exonerating them, thought so and never wrote the book. Here are Vanzetti's words from his sentencing:
"If it had not been for this, I might have live out my life, talking at street corners to scorning men. I might have die, unmarked, unknown, a failure. Now we are not a failure. This is our career and our triumph. Never in our full life can we do such a work for tolerance, for justice, for men's understanding of man, as we now do by an accident, our words--our lives--our pains--nothing! The taking of our lives--lives of a good shoemaker and a poor fish-peddler--all! The last moment belongs to us--that agony is our triumph!"
He would have made a superior blogger!
Back to the reading list.
Don't bother with 'The Bostonians' - it's only tangentially about Boston, it's really about sexual politics and lesbianism - although it IS interesting that 100 years ago, a lesbian relationship was called a 'Boston Marriage'.
I would recommend 'The Late George Apley' by John Marquand. He won the Pulitzer for it. It's a 'biography' of a recently deceased Brahmin, whose biographer is shocked to discover that the pillar of society he admired was a deeply unhappy and unsocial man. While the prejudices written about in the book made seem outdated now, they were very real, and destroyed many lives.
I would also recommend 'The Dante Club', a murder mystery featuring Longfellow, Emerson, Bronson Alcott, et al, as the Harvard Transcendentalists solve a crime (!).
The other book I recommend is a secret vice - a book which has great readable style, but which you know is just an elevated pot-boiler. Still, I've re-read it several times over the years, and it is as good at catching the moment of transition from Yankee Brahmin to Castle Irish in the Boston political and social world as The Last Hurrah. It is called 'Joy Street' and it is by Frances Parkinson Keyes, who is related to many of the families whose names you see carved in gold around the rim of the House Chamber as Heroes of Mass., and whose inside knowledge of Boston makes her as compelling about this city as Louis Auchincloss is about New York.
The rest of your choices are excellent. Carry on.