A New York Times Bestseller
A Boston Globe Bestseller
An ABA Indie Bestseller
James "Whitey" Bulger became one of the most ruthless gangsters in US history, and all because of an unholy deal he made with a childhood friend. John Connolly a rising star in the Boston FBI office, offered Bulger protection in return for helping the Feds eliminate Boston's Italian mafia. But no one offered Boston protection from Whitey Bulger, who, in a blizzard of gangland killings, took over the city's drug trade. Whitey's deal with Connolly's FBI spiraled out of control to become the biggest informant scandal in FBI history.
Black Mass is a New York Times and Boston Globe bestseller, written by two former reporters who were on the case from the beginning. It is an epic story of violence, double-cross, and corruption at the center of which are the black hearts of two old friends whose lives unfolded in the darkness of permanent midnight.
A quarter-century ago, Boston had the dirtiest harbor in America. The city had been dumping sewage into it for generations, coating the seafloor with a layer of “black mayonnaise.” Fisheries collapsed, wildlife fled, and locals referred to floating tampon applicators as “beach whistles.”
In the 1990s, work began on a state-of-the-art treatment plant and a 10-mile-long tunnel—its endpoint stretching farther from civilization than the earth’s deepest ocean trench—to carry waste out of the harbor. With this impressive feat of engineering, Boston was poised to show the country how to rebound from environmental ruin. But when bad decisions and clashing corporations endangered the project, a team of commercial divers was sent on a perilous mission to rescue the stymied cleanup effort. Five divers went in; not all of them came out alive.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews and thousands of documents collected over five years of reporting, award-winning writer Neil Swidey takes us deep into the lives of the divers, engineers, politicians, lawyers, and investigators involved in the tragedy and its aftermath, creating a taut, action-packed narrative. The climax comes just after the hard-partying DJ Gillis and his friend Billy Juse trade assignments as they head into the tunnel, sentencing one of them to death.
An intimate portrait of the wreckage left in the wake of lives lost, the book—which Dennis Lehane calls "extraordinary" and compares with The Perfect Storm—is also a morality tale. What is the true cost of these large-scale construction projects, as designers and builders, emboldened by new technology and pressured to address a growing population’s rapacious needs, push the limits of the possible? This is a story about human risk—how it is calculated, discounted, and transferred—and the institutional failures that can lead to catastrophe.
Suspenseful yet humane, Trapped Under the Sea reminds us that behind every bridge, tower, and tunnel—behind the infrastructure that makes modern life possible—lies unsung bravery and extraordinary sacrifice.
From the Hardcover edition.
Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord. In June, however, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It would be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists.
Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to every aspect of the story. He finds new characters, and new facets to familiar ones. The real work of choreographing rebellion falls to a thirty-three year old physician named Joseph Warren who emerges as the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause and is fated to die at Bunker Hill. Others in the cast include Paul Revere, Warren’s fiancé the poet Mercy Scollay, a newly recruited George Washington, the reluctant British combatant General Thomas Gage and his more bellicose successor William Howe, who leads the three charges at Bunker Hill and presides over the claustrophobic cauldron of a city under siege as both sides play a nervy game of brinkmanship for control.
With passion and insight, Philbrick reconstructs the revolutionary landscape—geographic and ideological—in a mesmerizing narrative of the robust, messy, blisteringly real origins of America.
The story of the fire, its causes, and its legal and human aftermath is one of lives put at risk by petty economic decisions--by a band, club owners, promoters, building inspectors, and product manufacturers. Any one of those decisions, made differently, might have averted the tragedy. Together, however, they reached a fatal critical mass.
Killer Show is the first comprehensive exploration of the chain of events leading up to the fire, the conflagration itself, and the painstaking search for evidence to hold the guilty to account and obtain justice for the victims.
Anyone who has entered an entertainment venue and wondered, "Could I get out of here in a hurry?" will identify with concertgoers at The Station. Fans of disaster nonfiction and forensic thrillers will find ample elements of both genres in Killer Show.
In 1692 the people of Massachusetts were living in fear, and not solely of satanic afflictions. Horrifyingly violent Indian attacks had all but emptied the northern frontier of settlers, and many traumatized refugees—including the main accusers of witches—had fled to communities like Salem. Meanwhile the colony’s leaders, defensive about their own failure to protect the frontier, pondered how God’s people could be suffering at the hands of savages. Struck by the similarities between what the refugees had witnessed and what the witchcraft “victims” described, many were quick to see a vast conspiracy of the Devil (in league with the French and the Indians) threatening New England on all sides. By providing this essential context to the famous events, and by casting her net well beyond the borders of Salem itself, Norton sheds new light on one of the most perplexing and fascinating periods in our history.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The defining moments of the American Revolution did not occur on the battlefield or at the diplomatic table, writes New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming, but at Valley Forge. Fleming transports us to December 1777. While the British army lives in luxury in conquered Philadelphia, Washington's troops huddle in the barracks of Valley Forge, fending off starvation and disease even as threats of mutiny swirl through the regiments. Though his army stands on the edge of collapse, George Washington must wage a secondary war, this one against the slander of his reputation as a general and patriot. Washington strategizes not only against the British army but against General Horatio Gates, the victor in the Battle of Saratoga, who has attracted a coterie of ambitious generals devising ways to humiliate and embarrass Washington into resignation.
Using diaries and letters, Fleming creates an unforgettable portrait of an embattled Washington. Far from the long-suffering stoic of historical myth, Washington responds to attacks from Gates and his allies with the skill of a master politician. He parries the thrusts of his covert enemies, and, as necessary, strikes back with ferocity and guile. While many histories portray Washington as a man who has transcended politics, Fleming's Washington is exceedingly complex, a man whose political maneuvering allowed him to retain his command even as he simultaneously struggled to prevent the Continental Army from dissolving into mutiny at Valley Forge.
Written with his customary flair and eye for human detail and drama, Thomas Fleming's gripping narrative develops with the authority of a major historian and the skills of a master storyteller. Washington's Secret War is not only a revisionist view of the American ordeal at Valley Forge - it calls for a new assessment of the man too often simplified into an American legend. This is narrative history at its best and most vital.
Using dozens of interview and audiotapes that recorded every word exchanged between Quirk and the Coast Guard, Tougias has written a devastating, true account of bravery and death at sea, in Ten Hours Until Dawn.
The year 1776 ended with both the Americans and the British stripped of their illusions. Each side had been forced to abandon the myth of invincibility and confront the realities of human nature on and off the battlefield.
For the Americans, it had been a shock to discover that it was easy to persuade people to cheer for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but it was another matter to convince them to make real sacrifices for these ideals. For the British, their goal of achieving proper subordination of America to England was frustrated forever.
Seventeen seventy-six was a tragic year: Americans fighting in the name of liberty persecuted and sometimes killed fellow Americans who chose to remain loyal to the old order. Seventeen seventy-six was a year of heroes: It brought forth the leaders who had the courage to fight for freedom. Seventeen seventy-six was a disgraceful year: Americans revealed a capacity for cowardice, disorganization, and incompetence.
Here, in this masterful book, is the true story of 1776.
The setting for this haunting and encyclopedically researched work of history is colonial Massachusetts, where English Puritans first endeavoured to "civilize" a "savage" native populace. There, in February 1704, a French and Indian war party descended on the village of Deerfield, abducting a Puritan minister and his children. Although John Williams was eventually released, his daughter horrified the family by staying with her captors and marrying a Mohawk husband.
Out of this incident, The Bancroft Prize-winning historian John Devos has constructed a gripping narrative that opens a window into North America where English, French, and Native Americans faced one another across gilfs of culture and belief, and sometimes crossed over.
“For everyone who loves Nantucket Island this is the indispensable book.” —Russell Baker
In his first book of history, Nathaniel Philbrick reveals the people and the stories behind what was once the whaling capital of the world. Beyond its charm, quaint local traditions, and whaling yarns, Philbrick explores the origins of Nantucket in this comprehensive history. From the English settlers who thought they were purchasing a “Native American ghost town” but actually found a fully realized society, through the rise and fall of the then thriving whaling industry, the story of Nantucket is a truly unique chapter of American history.
Haefeli and Sweeney reconstruct events from multiple points of view, through the stories of a variety of individuals involved. These stories begin in the Native, French, and English communities of the colonial Northeast, then converge in the February 29 raid, as a force of more than two hundred Frenchmen, Abenakis, Hurons, Kahnawake Mohawks, Pennacooks, and Iroquois of the Mountain overran the northwesternmost village of the New England frontier. Although the inhabitants put up more of a fight than earlier accounts of the so-called Deerfield Massacre have suggested, the attackers took 112 men, women, and children captive. The book follows the raiders and their prisoners on the harsh three-hundred-mile trek back to Canada and into French and Native communities. Along the way the authors examine how captives and captors negotiated cultural boundaries and responded to the claims of competing faiths and empires -- all against a backdrop of continuing warfare.
By giving equal weight to all participants, Haefeli and Sweeney range across the fields of social, political, literary, religious, and military history, and reveal connections between cultures and histories usually seen as separate.
Sitting on Tisbury Great Pond—well-stocked with oysters and crab for foraged dinners—the house faced the ocean and the sky, and though it was eventually replaced by a sturdier structure, the ethos remained the same: no heat, no TV, and no telephone. Instead, there were countless hours at the beach, meals cooked and savored with friends, nights talking under the stars, until at last, the house was sold in 2014.
To the New Owners is Madeleine Blais’ charming, evocative memoir of this house, and of the Vineyard itself—from the history of the island and its famous visitors to the ferry, the pie shops, the quirky charms and customs, and the abundant natural beauty. But more than that, this is an elegy for a special place. Many of us have one place that anchors our most powerful memories. For Blais, it was the Vineyard house—a retreat and a dependable pleasure that also measured changes in her family. As children were born and grew up, as loved ones aged and passed away, the house was a constant. And now, the house lives on in the hearts of those who cherished it.
An election is a war and "to the victor belongs the spoils." That’s the real democratic process. After all, you'll never see a victorious politician tell his supporters, "I want to thank all of you who worked so hard for my election. However, in the interest of good government, I've decided to give all the jobs to those people who voted against me." This belief became Buddy Cianci’s mantra. Following his own rules, Cianci spent almost three decades as mayor of Providence, RI... before leaving for an enforced vacation in a federally funded gated community.
Providence was a dying industrial city when he first took office, but he helped turn it into one of the most desirable places to live in America. He did it by playing the game of hardball politics as well as it has ever been played, living up to his favorite Sinatra lyric "I did it my way"—because that's the only way a mayor can run a city.
If you want to know the truth about how politics is played, you picked the right book. This is the behind-the-locked-door story of how politics in America really works. Here is a man who has been called many things: "America's Most Innovative Mayor," a "colorful character," and a convicted felon. But no one has ever called him shy. Here, he serves it all up.
In Into A Raging Sea, Bernie tells that story, but the book is so much more than that. In these pages you’ll read about rescue attempts that did not turn out well, stories of fishermen from a time long past, rescues done with the by-gone technique of the “breeches buoy,” humorous anecdotes, and what Cape Cod and its people meant to Bernie.
Into a Raging Sea is a story of sacrifice, bravery, disappointment, and challenges. And in the background of Bernie’s journey is one constant, the sea.
--from the forward by Michael J. Tougias
In the sleepy hamlet of Canaan, Connecticut, Barbara Gibbons stood out. She and her eighteen-year-old son, Peter Reilly, lived in a drab one-bedroom house on a desolate stretch of road. An intelligent, lively woman with a wicked sense of humor, Barbara also had dark moods and drank too much. She fought loudly with neighbors and her son, and appeared to have a messy, complicated love life.
When Peter came home from the Teen Center one night to discover his mother lying naked on the bedroom floor with her throat slashed, the police made him their prime suspect. After eight hours of interrogation and a polygraph test, Peter confessed. Investigators were convinced they had an open-and-shut case, but the townspeople disagreed. They couldn’t believe that the naïve teenager was capable of such a gruesome crime, and blamed detectives for taking advantage of the boy’s trust. With the help of celebrities including Mike Nichols and William Styron, who contributes an eloquent and persuasive introduction to Joan Barthel’s account of the case, the community of Canaan rallied to Peter’s defense.
A gripping murder mystery and an intimate portrait of the loyalties, resentments, and secrets lurking beneath the placid surface of quiet towns across America, A Death in Canaan is a masterpiece of “first-class journalism” (The New York Times).
Here, from New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming, is the story of that June day in 1775 that made the American Revolution inevitable.
Bunker Hill brings alive the stories of the men on both sides who fought on these steep slopes in the blazing heat of June and dispels the myths and distortions which have long clouded the battle. It shows how closely and tragically intertwined were the lives of these men who from this day would call themselves either British or American.
The brother of General William Howe, the British commander, had died in Colonel Israel Putnam's arms near Fort Ticonderoga. Colonel William Prescott had fought beside General William Howe at the siege of Louisburg and had been offered a commission in the Royal Army for his valor. Now, only fifteen years after their joint victories as comrades in arms, Prescott and Putnam steadied their raw American troops with harsh advice to withhold their fire on the advancing British ranks until "you can see their buttons," or "the whites of their eyes."
After the British forces came ashore, the battle opened with a deftly launched flanking movement by the British right. John Stark arrived with his New Hampshire men in time to predict the point at which Howe would first attack and to seal that gap with British dead - "I never saw sheep lie as thick in the fold." Howe did not pause to maneuver but assaulted the American fortifications along the whole front. The young farmers did not give way, and the British reeled back. "There was a moment," Howe, a veteran and victor of many battles against the French in Europe and North America, recalled later, "that I never felt before." But the British doggedly advanced again up the murderous hill in the ninety-degree heat.
The forces that impelled these men to that terrible moment of battle and the courage of both sides are the powerful substance of Bunker Hill.
In this book, Llana Barber interweaves the histories of urban crisis in U.S. cities and imperial migration from Latin America. Pushed to migrate by political and economic circumstances shaped by the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America, poor and working-class Latinos then had to reckon with the segregation, joblessness, disinvestment, and profound stigma that plagued U.S. cities during the crisis era, particularly in the Rust Belt. For many Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, there was no "American Dream" awaiting them in Lawrence; instead, Latinos struggled to build lives for themselves in the ruins of industrial America.
Van Morrison's Astral Weeks is an iconic rock album shrouded in legend, a masterpiece that has touched generations of listeners and influenced everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Martin Scorsese. In his first book, acclaimed musician and journalist Ryan H. Walsh unearths the album's fascinating backstory--along with the untold secrets of the time and place that birthed it: Boston 1968.
On the 50th anniversary of that tumultuous year, Walsh's book follows a criss-crossing cast of musicians and visionaries, artists and hippie entrepreneurs, from a young Tufts English professor who walks into a job as a host for TV's wildest show (one episode required two sets, each tuned to a different channel) to the mystically inclined owner of radio station WBCN, who believed he was the reincarnation of a scientist from Atlantis. Most penetratingly powerful of all is Mel Lyman, the folk-music star who decided he was God, then controlled the lives of his many followers via acid, astrology, and an underground newspaper called Avatar.
A mesmerizing group of boldface names pops to life in Astral Weeks: James Brown quells tensions the night after Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated; the real-life crimes of the Boston Strangler come to the movie screen via Tony Curtis; Howard Zinn testifies for Avatar in the courtroom. From life-changing concerts and chilling crimes, to acid experiments and film shoots, Astral Weeks is the secret, wild history of a unique time and place.
One of LitHub's 15 Books You Should Read This March
In The Fever of 1721 Stephen Coss brings to life the amazing cast of characters who changed the course of medical history, American journalism, and colonial revolution: Cotton Mather, the great Puritan preacher, son of the President of Harvard College; Zabdiel Boylston, a doctor whose name is on one of Boston’s avenues; James Franklin and his younger brother Benjamin; and Elisha Cooke and his protégé Samuel Adams.
Coss describes how, during the worst smallpox epidemic in Boston history Mather convinced Doctor Boylston to try making an incision in the arm of a healthy person and implanting it with smallpox matter. Public outrage forced Boylston into hiding and Mather’s house was firebombed.
“In 1721, Boston was a dangerous place…In Coss’s telling, the troubles of 1721 represent a shift away from a colony of faith and toward the modern politics of representative government” (The New York Times Book Review). Elisha Cooke and Samuel Adams were beginning to resist the British in the run-up to the American Revolution. Meanwhile, a bold young printer names James Franklin launched America’s first independent newspaper and landed in jail. His teenaged brother and apprentice, Benjamin Franklin, however, learned his trade in James’s shop and became a father of the Independence movement.
One by one, the atmosphere in Boston in 1721 simmered and ultimately boiled over, leading to the full drama of the American Revolution. “Fascinating, informational, and pleasing to read…Coss’s gem of colonial history immerses readers into eighteenth-century Boston and introduces a collection of fascinating people and intriguing circumstances” (Library Journal, starred review).
In Town Born, Barry Levy shows that New England's distinctive and far more egalitarian order was due neither to the colonists' peasant traditionalism nor to the region's inhospitable environment. Instead, New England's labor system and relative equality were every bit a consequence of its innovative system of governance, which placed nearly all land under the control of several hundred self-governing town meetings. As Levy shows, these town meetings were not simply sites of empty democratic rituals but were used to organize, force, and reconcile laborers, families, and entrepreneurs into profitable export economies. The town meetings protected the value of local labor by persistently excluding outsiders and privileging the town born.
The town-centered political economy of New England created a large region in which labor earned respect, relative equity ruled, workers exercised political power despite doing the most arduous tasks, and the burdens of work were absorbed by citizens themselves. In a closely observed and well-researched narrative, Town Born reveals how this social order helped create the foundation for American society.
It isn’t surprising that a locale nicknamed the Constitution State has an impressive history—all of which is documented in the WPA Guide to Connecticut. The guide provides a comprehensive index of old and historic houses as well as an interesting timeline called “Connecticut Firsts” which lists historic happenings in the state from 1636 to 1936. The guide to the Nutmeg State also presents a number of tours through notable cities and towns, including New Haven and Yale University.
Ebook Edition Note: Six of the 111 illustrations have been redacted.
Over 260 rare photographs, carefully selected from public and private archives, recall "the good old days" in such communities as Maspeth, Ridgewood, Jamaica, Astoria, Jackson Heights, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Flushing, College Point, Whitestone, Woodside, Elmhurst, Corona, Bayside, Howard Beach, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven, and many other areas.
Included are vintage views of numerous landmarks and locales — among them DeWitt Clinton's mansion (Maspeth); the 1655 Robert Coe House (Corona); Arbitration Rock, the traditional border between Brooklyn and Queens from 1660 to 1769; Pettit's Hotel in Jamaica (Washington really did sleep there in 1790); St. James Episcopal Church (1735) in Elmhurst; and Woodside (in one of the oldest known photographs of the area — 1871-72). Also depicted are a cluster of more recent landmarks: Astoria Studios, the Whitestone Bridge under construction, the 1939 World's Fair, and much more.
Each fascinating photograph is accompanied by a detailed, well-researched caption, while a general Introduction vividly outlines the colorful history of Queens — from its prehistoric glacial origins through a lengthy period of agricultural development that lasted from colonial times through much of the 1800s, to the twentieth century, when it acquired a largely residential character.
Compiled by two noted experts on Long Island history, this pictorial grand tour will be a must for residents of Queens, Long Islanders, nostalgia buffs, historians, and lovers of vintage photography.
A sampling of cemeteries profiled:
*Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont, where lifelike sculptures of angels and Greek goddesses stand next to a stone soccer ball and Shell Oil truck gravemarker, all elaborately carved from local granite by immigrant Italian stonecutters.
*Spider Gates Cemetery, in Leicester, Massachusetts, a notorious Quaker burying ground famed for its frequent ghost sightings and still in use today.
*A cemetery situated on the raised median of the Interstate in Warner, New Hampshire,which was preserved in 1970 by highway planners, who constructed the roadway around it.
*Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Vermont, final resting place of Timothy Clark Smith, whose 1893 crypt includes a window to help him escape in case he was buried alive.
Driving directions are provided for each cemetery, and detailed maps show the location of the more obscure graveyards. This unique guide offers an intriguing way to learn about the history and culture of New England.
Published in association with Library of American Landscape History: http://lalh.org/
On October 27, 2004, the Red Sox won their first World Series Championship in eighty-six years—breaking the infamous Curse of the Bambino and giving diehard fans the thrill of a lifetime.
Reversing the Curse preserves one of the greatest stories in sports history with an absorbing account of the team—a raggedy lineup of motorcycle-riding, whiskey-drinking rogues—and the key events that led to their incredible championship victory. A more epic sports saga could not have been invented: Here we have the curse that began with Babe Ruth; a team of comeback kids determined to prove their mettle; the perennial rivalry against the Yankees; and a historic win that was celebrated around the world.
Dan Shaughnessy captures the Sox triumph in all its drama and euphoria with penetrating insight, a keen sense of history, and unparalleled insider access. With photographs by the Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Stan Grossfeld, Reversing the Curse is the definitive record of a landmark moment in baseball history.
“[Shaughnessy is] adept at capturing the mood, the emotion, the palpable feel of the Boston-New York showdown.” —The New York Times
“In story after story of near-triumph, the book should delight the team’s most fanatically loyal followers.” —Publishers Weekly
Long Mile Home will tell the gripping story of the tragic, surreal, and ultimately inspiring week of April 15, 2013: the preparations of the bombers; the glory of the race; the extraordinary emergency response to the explosions; the massive deployment of city, state, and federal law enforcement personnel; and the nation’s and the world’s emotional and humanitarian response before, during, and after the apprehension of the suspects.
The authors, both journalists at The Boston Globe, are backed by that paper’s deep, relentless, and widely praised coverage of the event. Through the eyes of seven principal characters including the bombers, the wounded, a victim, a cop, and a doctor, Helman and Russell will trace the distinct paths that brought them together. With an unprecedented level of detail and insight, the book will offer revelations, insights, and powerful stories of heroism and humanity.
Long Mile Home will also highlight the bravery, resourcefulness, and resiliency of the Boston community. It will portray the city on its worst day but also at its best.
From the Hardcover edition.
In their attempts to retain profit margins or even just to stay afloat, hospitals adopted a common set of practices to cut costs and increase revenues. Many strategies squeezed greater productivity out of nurses and other hospital workers. Nurses' workloads increased to the point that even the most skilled nurses questioned whether they could provide minimal, safe care to patients. As hospitals hemorrhaged money, it seemed that no one—not hospital administrators, not doctors—felt they could afford to listen to nurses.
Through a careful look at the effects of the restructuring strategies chosen and implemented by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the author examines management's efforts to balance service and survival. By showing the effects of hospital restructuring on nurses' ability to plan, evaluate, and deliver excellent care, Weinberg provides a stinging indictment of standard industry practices that underestimate the contribution nurses make both to hospitals and to patient care.