The third edition to Boston: A Topographical History appears forty years after Walter Muir Whitehill's original text, brought up-to-date by Lawrence Kennedy. The underlying theme of the book remains remarkably important...There is a truly impressive feat here. Kennedy and Whitehill have documented incredible physical changes over nearly four hundred years. The book is wonderfully illustrated...well-researched and accessible. It not only provides an overarching narrative of the history of the city of Boston, it shows how cities in general adapt, alter, and preserve their surroundings. (Michael Mazzano H-Net Reviews)
"[Boston: A Topographical History] is a lively history of the city from its founding up through the mid-1960s, the age of the so-called New Boston. Whitehill clarifies such mysteries as the name Tremont, which refers to the three hills--Pemberton, Beacon, and Mount Vernon--that once stood where the now much-reduced Beacon Hill remains. With this book, graced with useful old maps and engravings, you can understand that Canal Street followed the bank of Mill Creek, Causeway Street was once a causeway across the old mill pond, and West Hill Place (near Charles Circle) was once a small hill by the Back Bay. (David Mehegan Boston Globe Magazine)
Short, living, and admirably illustrated...What we have is a most learned and entertaining guide to the past and present of Boston. (Times Literary Supplement)
Over the years Boston has played an important role in American history and consequently a topographical history of the city is of more than local interest...In an informed and witty manner, [Whitehill] traces the history of Boston by means of the physical and resultant social changes which have affected the city...[this history has been] delightfully...told in this attractive book. (James J. Heslin New York Historical Society Quarterly)
A good companion, pleasingly written, informative and entertaining, and copiously illustrated. (Nicholas B. Wainwright New England Quarterly)
Whitehill's scholarship is both profound and far-reaching...In short, this is an admirable contribution to the growing literature of American urbanism. (Leonard K. Eaton Progressive Architecture)
About the Author
Lawrence W. Kennedy is Professor of History at the University of Scranton and author of Planning the City upon a Hill: Boston since 1630.