Book Review: The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness by Michelle Alexander


Author: Michelle Alexander Title:The new Jim Crow : mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness Publication Info: New York : [Jackson, Tenn.] : New Press ; Distributed by Perseus Distribution, 2010. Summary/Review: Alexander’s book demonstrates how mass incarceration  in the United States has succeeded slavery and Jim Crow segregation in creating inequality and an undercaste…

Book Review: Wild Women of Boston by Dina Vargo


Author: Dina Vargo Title: Wild Women of Boston Publication Info: Charleston, SC : History Press, 2015 Summary/Review: This slender volume is chock full of stories of about two dozen women of Boston who bucked the societal norms of their sex and made an impact of history.  These women include leaders, innovators, and activists, but they also include…

Book Review: Tinkering toward utopia : a century of public school reform by David B. Tyack and Larry Cuban


Author: David B. Tyack and Larry Cuban Title: Tinkering toward utopia : a century of public school reform Publication Info: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1995. Summary/Review: This slender but illustrative book traces this history of public education reforms across the 20th century.  Two themes run through the book.  The first is that public schools are set…

Book Reviews: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell


Author:  Sarah Vowell Title: Lafayette in the Somewhat United States Narrator:  Sarah Vowell, with  John Slattery, Nick Offerman, Fred Armisen, Bobby Cannavale, John Hodgman, Stephanie March, and Alexis Denisof Other Books Read By Same Author: The Partly Cloudy Patriot  The Wordy Shipmates  Publication Info: Simon & Schuster Audio (2015) Summary/Review: This audiobook includes numerous well-known actors performing…

Boston By Foot Walking Tour: Benjamin Franklin’s 310th Birthday


Sunday is the birthday of early American leader Benjamin Franklin,  born in Boston on January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705].  Come learn more about this Son of Boston on a Boston By Foot tour lead by knowledgeable Boston By Foot guides (including yours truly).  The tour visits sites associated with Ben Franklin’s life in Boston from…

Book Reviews: A People’s History of the New Boston by Jim Vrabel


Author: Jim Vrabel Title: A People’s History of the New Boston Publication Info: Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, [2014] Summary/Review: This book is a short social history of activism in Boston in the 60s, 70s, & 80s as people coalesced around causes to make the city better, although sometimes the populist ideals could lead to conflict…

Book Review: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow


Author: Ron Chernow Title: Alexander Hamilton Narrator: Grover Gardner Publication Info: New York, N.Y. : Penguin Audio, p2004. Summary/Review: A straight-forward biography of General Washington’s right-hand man, Constitutional crusader, and founder of American finance as first secretary of treasury. It does not shy away from Hamilton’s failings such as an ill-tempered tongue and poor decisions, but mostly…

Book Review: Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson


Author: Marilyn Johnson Title: Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble Narrator: Hilary Huber Publication Info: Tantor Audio, 2014 Summary/Review: Johnson’s book is a peek into the lives of archaeologists ranging from the expected academics working on notable sites to the more every day contract archaeologists working for little pay and a lot…