The Atlas of Boston History, with Nancy Seasholes (episode 156)

We’re joined this week by Nancy Seasholes, editor of the new book The Atlas of Boston History, which just came out on Thursday. It’s a historic atlas of Boston that covers the period from the last ice age, right up to the present day. It contains essays contributed by a wide range of well regarded local historians, as well as many written by Seasholes herself. However, what sets this book apart is its beauty. As the name Atlas indicates, it is richly illustrated with maps, charts, diagrams, infographics, historical photos, paintings, and more. It’s a book that I will use as a reference far into the future, and one that any of my fellow Boston history nerds will love. Please check out the full show notes at: And support the show on Patreon. The Atlas of Boston History Nancy Seasholes is a historian and a historical archaeologist. She’s the past author of Walking Tours of Boston’s Made Land and Gaining Ground: a History of Landmaking in Boston, which is a favorite reference for your humble hosts. Since the book has such a heavy emphasis on visual elements, you may want to follow along at the Atlas of Boston History website as you listen to our conversation this week. It includes sample pages from each of the book’s eleven sections, giving you a much better idea of why I’m so enthusiastic about this beautiful book.

Make sure to catch Nancy’s upcoming local appearances: October 30 at Porter Square Books November 14 at the Massachusetts Historical Society If you’re still on the fence, here’s how the publisher describes the Atlas: Few American cities possess a history as long, rich, and fascinating as Boston’s. A site of momentous national political events from the Revolutionary War through the civil rights movement, Boston has also been an influential literary and cultural capital. From ancient glaciers to landmaking schemes and modern infrastructure projects, the city’s terrain has been transformed almost constantly over the centuries.

The Atlas of Boston History traces the city’s history and geography from the last ice age to the present with beautifully rendered maps. Edited by historian Nancy S. Seasholes, this landmark volume captures all aspects of Boston’s past in a series of fifty-seven stunning full-color spreads. Each section features newly created thematic maps that focus on moments and topics in that history. These maps are accompanied by hundreds of historical and contemporary illustrations and explanatory text from historians and other expert contributors. They illuminate a wide range of topics including Boston’s physical and economic development, changing demography, and social and cultural life. In lavishly produced detail, The Atlas of Boston History offers a vivid, refreshing perspective on the development of this iconic American city. Upcoming Historical Event(s) Douglas Egerton will give a lunchtime talk at the Boston Athenaeum on November 8

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