Book Review | The Paradise of All These Parts
Among the subjects of his stories are Katherine Nanny Naylor, whose 17th-century privy produced a treasure trove of artifacts, including a bowling ball; Thomas Blackfish, a self-proclaimed Native American whom Hanson describes as a member of the Wannabe tribe; James Michael Curley, the legendary Irish American mayor who once threatened to sell the Public Garden, just to horrify the Brahmins; and generation after generation of protestors, who fought everything from the Stamp Act to the dismantling of the Citgo sign near Fenway Park — “an odd reaction,” Mitchell points out, “given that there had been a flurry of protest when the sign was first erected.”
It all helps to explain the reaction of one 19th-century Bostonian who, when accused of provincialism, replied, “Why travel when we are already here?”
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