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Greater Boston 9780812217698

Greater Boston

Adapting Regional Traditions to the Present

ISBN-10: 0812217691
ISBN-13: 9780812217698
PUBLISHER: University of Pennsylvania Press
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: From eastern Massachusetts to southern New Hampshire, greater Boston is what five million people call home. Drawing on more than thirty years as a resident of Boston himself, renowned urban historian Sam Bass Warner, Jr., reveals a vibrant, ethnically diverse American metropolis, a mixture of cities and small wooded towns, a region built on tradition, yet able to keep pace and set trends in the modern world. Reflecting on the natural environment of greater Boston and interviewing those who live there, Warner provides a fresh portrait of what he shows to be both the nation's oldest and newest urban area. Warner's exploration of Boston begins with the region's physical setting, its unique geology and geographical development, and an historical description of the rise of the city. He then chronicles contemporary economic life in metropolitan Boston, where innovation and ideas have always been among its greatest resources. But although the city has enjoyed prosperity as a center for new businesses, including mutual fund management and scientific instrumentation, as well as for reworked traditional industries such as textile production and apparel, Warner explains how Boston faces the enduring urban challenges of running public schools, monitoring real estate development, and managing impoverished neighborhoods. It is only now that the city and region's different ethnic groups have begun the difficult but rewarding trend toward a more open and cooperative Boston society, resulting in a compelling new vision of the city. Warner allows Bostonians to speak for themselves as he presents their personal stories about civic life and how they creatively tend to their plans and problems, often byvoicing their concerns at open town meetings, a centuries-old New England practice. Warner then turns to another principal aspect of the region's cultural heritage, music making, the long tradition of which has made Boston a gathering place for the world's finest musicians. Folk revivals and early American music are nurtured in auditoriums and coffee houses dotting the region, while the latest jazz and rock performances flourish alongside well-attended classical concerts. It is this everyday and everywhere music, according to Warner, that illustrates the special and creative quality of greater Boston's public life. Finally, Warner considers how the metropolis is growing, and how this adaptable town will continue to accommodate new generations of Bostonians while retaining its distinctive character. Throughout, the narrative is accompanied by Warner's own pen-and-ink drawings, contributing to the intimate tone of this metropolitan portrait.

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CATEGORY: Business & Economics, Political Science, Social Science

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