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The Good City Paperback – July 30, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This slim volume of essays is the literary equivalent of meandering down Boston's crooked streets. Wander this way to relax beneath the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's "glass-roofed courtyard." Head that way to discover "a hive of innovation," where telegraphs were perfected, the telephone invented and general anesthesia first used. Saunter into the Frederick Olmstead–designed Emerald Necklace series of parks to enjoy "trees and shrubs, interwoven with meadows, community gardens, ponds and streams, and freshwater marshes in the midst of an urban setting." Of course, the city's ugly side is also here: busing riots and racism, gentrification and urban renewal, corrupt politics and a perennial also-ran baseball team. Hiestand (The Very Rich Hours) and Zellman (formerly of the Boston Globe) selected essays highlighting different facets of the Hub, such as Lynda Morgenroth's exploration of neighborhoods, John Hanson Mitchell's historical look at the Shawmut Peninsula and Irene Smalls's critique of what the city offers children. While those familiar with Boston will gain the most from this collection, these essays are larger than just one city. Curator Alan Chong's look at the Gardner Museum sheds light on private museums nationwide. Southie Michael Patrick MacDonald rails against the "liberals" taking over his neighborhood, questioning gentrification even as he himself perpetuates it. The vibrancy and complexity of Boston shine through this work.
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About the Author

Emily Hiestand is a writer, artist, and creative director of Elements Commmunications for Positive Change. The author of three books, including The Very Rich Hours and Angela the Upside Down Girl, her literary honors include The Whiting Award and The National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism.

Ande Zellman is a media and publishing consultant and has held senior positions at Newsweek and the Boston Globe, including editor-in-chief of the Boston Globe Magazine. Dozens of awards have been won under her leadership including a Pulitzer Prize, Headliner, Livingston, and George Foster Peabody Awards.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1 edition (July 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807071439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807071434
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,095,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fran Keenan on May 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
The essays in this volume celebrate city living. I'm a recent transplant to Boston and it was great to find a mix of history, cultural notes and tributes to a city that has bounced back vibrantly from its decline in the 1970s and 1980s. Writers explore Boston politics, neighborhoods, arts institutions and the city's heady sports mania. If you live in Boston now and love it or you once lived here and miss it dearly, you'll enjoy the read.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a compilation of short stories and/or essays, very slow and dry. It seemed like a text for a college-level class more than leisurely reading.
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