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The Paradise of All These Parts: A Natural History of Boston
by John Mitchell
Equipped with wit, intellect, and an innate curiosity about people and places, John Hanson Mitchell strolls through Boston's streets, chronicling the nonhuman inhabitants and surprisingly diverse plant life, as well as the eccentric characters he meets at various turns. Using his modern observations as a starting point, he tells the fascinating stories of the tribal leaders, naturalists, community activists, and organizations who worked to preserve nature in the city over generations, from the Victory Gardens of the Fenway to the expansive woods of Franklin Park.
But much of the history is in the land itself. As he battles traffic on notorious Route 128, Mitchell considers the ancient origins of the rocks that line the highway and those that form the city's foundation. A walk across Boston Common calls to mind the Tremount Hills, flattened by seventeenth-century newcomers; only Beacon Hill remains. A stroll through the Back Bay allows Mitchell to imagine the Charles River, so polluted by sewage that it became a public nuisance and was partially covered over with a massive nineteenth-century landfill. With this natural history in mind, Mitchell explores both ancient and new green space from Chelsea to South Boston, including the greenway formed by the Big Dig.
Endlessly readable and full ofpersonality, The Paradise of All These Parts offers Boston visitors and residents alike a whole new perspective on one of America's oldest cities.
"A wonderful piece of work: lively, thought-provoking and totally absorbing. The city of Boston has been chopped to pieces, riddled with tunnels, and surrounded by fill, but as Mitchell reveals in The Paradise of All These Parts, it is still a place of wonder." Hardcover 256 pages - 6" x 8" - (6/08)
--Nathaniel Philbrick, author of MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
ZH1489 The Paradise of All These Parts: A Natural Histor $24.95