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Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston Hardcover – August 29, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0262194945 ISBN-10: 0262194945 Edition: 1st

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Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston + Mapping Boston + Inventing the Charles River
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (August 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262194945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262194945
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A book of great import..." Martin Zimmerman Landscape Architecture



"Gaining Ground is a stunning compilation of material that documents over three centuries' worth of [changes]." Richard Longstreth American Studies International



"...Seasholes has provided a document that brings history alive..." Civil Engineering



"Seasholes's well-documented study provides a unique perspective on Boston's history." T. D. Beal CHOICE



"This book charts the 'made land' accretions in anecdote-laced prose..." San Francisco Chronicle



"This book will appeal to those with a special interest in Boston or in the process of landmaking." Harold Henderson Planning



"We city walkers and history buffs have all picked up a little architectural history. Architecture is fun, but it won't tell you why Boston looks the way it does. You have to know how there came to be land beneath the streets! Here at last is an easy-reading and complete history of Boston's three centuries of landmaking. With Dr. Seasholes you can follow the story neighborhood by neighborhood or view the city as a whole. This is public history at its best."--Sam Bass Warner, Jr., author of *Greater Boston*



"For nearly 400 years Bostonians have been busy digging, filling and making land. Whether it was simply dumping refuse into open spaces between wharves or laying out complicated plans to fashion new neighborhoods, we have probably made more land than any other city in America. Filling in is what Boston is all about. In a book that can only be described as a tour de force Seasholes takes us on a tour of 'gained ground.' With the precision of an engineer, the perspective of an architect, the sense of a historian and the perseverance of an archaeologist, she is our Baedeker across every inch of new ground. It is simply not possible to understand Boston without knowing this history, and it is impossible to know this history without reading Seasholes. If you can handle the weight of this hefty volume then tuck it under your arm and head out to the streets and use it to discover Boston underfoot."--William M. Fowler, Jr., Director, Massachusetts Historical SocietyPlease note: Endorser gives permission to excerpt from quote.



"*Gaining Ground* is now the definitive treatment of Boston's landmaking. Its scope -- from the central waterfront to East Boston and from 1630 to today -- the depth of its research, and its use of historic maps to illustrate each project make it a truly encyclopedic work."--Richard Garver, Deputy Director, Boston Redevelopment Authority

About the Author

Nancy S. Seasholes is an independent scholar, a Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at Boston University, and periodically teaches at the Harvard University Extension School. Walking Tours of Boston's Made Land is the companion to her earlier book, Gaining Ground (MIT Press, 2003).

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Customer Reviews

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Ms. Seasholes has produced an extremely well written and readable book.
Susan Finnemore
It is simply a must for anyone interested in the history of this great city.
William M. Fowler
This book is a very amazing book about the history of made land in Boston.
JJ Cannon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By William M. Fowler on October 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Seasholes must have combed every archive and walked every inch of Boston to produce this monumental book. Not only is it exhaustive, but it is entertaining as well. Although this is a handsome book it is not a cooffe table enterprise. This is a book you will want to take with you as you walk the streets of Boston. This book is destined to become dog eared and underlined. It is simply a must for anyone interested in the history of this great city.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Stefan W. on March 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Disclaimer: I was very fortunate to take the Harvard University class tought by the author, which uses this book as the class text.

This book is a spectacular work of research and writing. The author truly shows her passion for the subject.

The text presents a unique view of Boston history, with stunning detail and even intrigue. The historical and original maps are without equal, and the photographs and illustrations are superb selections.

Pardon the cliché, but truly I found myself unable to put this book down!

Her recent book Walking Tours of Boston's Made Land is also a must-have for anyone who wants to get close-up and personal with Boston history.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lew Craig on August 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book about how Boston changed in the last 200+ years. It is very readable, but I especially enjoyed the pictures and maps. It is an excellent book for anyone interested in the subject.
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By Susan Finnemore on March 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Seasholes has produced an extremely well written and readable book. I bought the book for reference and I find myself completely immersed and reading every line. The amount of information that is presented is incredible and it is conveyed in a manner that is not often found in such scholarly texts. I do recommend that the reader get a magnifying glass to take adavantage of all the details in the many maps, plans, drawings, and photos. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of Boston.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Koch on August 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If one lives and Boston and was curious about what the city looked like 100, 200, 300, or 400 years ago this is the book for you. I discovered that somewhere between 1837 and 1851 the street I lived in was filled and went from being underwater to land.
An incredibly well-researched history of how people altered the landscape of Boston.
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