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Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of…
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Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and Its Surroundings

by Anthony N. Penna

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This collection of essays grew out of a conference held at the Massachusetts Historical Society in 2006. It opens with an introduction by co-editor Anthony Penna on the vast changes wrought on the Boston landscape since European colonization, and the following essays touch on various aspects of the changed landscape: the shifting shorelines of Boston Harbor and the Shawmut Peninsula; the unmaking of Boston's hills; the importance of the city's parks systems, &c. Other essays examine Boston's past and current weather patterns (the most interesting to me was Lauri Bauer Coleman's ''Rain Down Righteousness': Interpretations of Natural Events in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Boston.'

Specialized, but perhaps of interest to fans of environmental and/or Boston history. ( )
  JBD1 | Mar 27, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0822943816, Hardcover)

Since its settlement in 1630, Boston, its harbor, and outlying regions have witnessed a monumental transformation at the hands of humans and by nature. Remaking Boston chronicles many of the events that altered the physical landscape of Boston, while also offering multidisciplinary perspectives on the environmental history of one of America's oldest and largest metropolitan areas.

Situated on an isthmus, and blessed with a natural deepwater harbor and ocean access, Boston became an important early trade hub with Europe and the world. As its population and economy grew, developers extended the city's shoreline into the surrounding tidal mudflats to create more useable land. Further expansion of the city was achieved through the annexation of surrounding communities, and the burgeoning population and economy spread to outlying areas. The interconnection of city and suburb opened the floodgates to increased commerce, services and workforces, while also leaving a wake of roads, rails, bridges, buildings, deforestation, and pollution.

Profiling this ever-changing environment, the contributors tackle a variety of topics, including: the glacial formation of the region; physical characteristics and composition of the land and harbor; dredging, sea walling, flattening, and landfill operations in the reshaping of the Shawmut Peninsula; the longstanding controversy over the link between landfills and shoaling in shipping channels; population movements between the city and suburbs and their environmental implications; interdependence of the city and its suburbs; preservation and reclamation of the Charles River; suburban deforestation and later reforestation as byproducts of changing land use; the planned outlay of parks and parkways; and historic climate changes and the human and biological adaptations to them.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:13 -0400)

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