History of Boston ‘Grand’


Award-winning author and historian Stephen Puleo has been published once again.  A City So Grand, based on of the history of Boston, focuses on the second half of the Nineteenth century, a time when the city was thriving.

Puleo, an adjunct professor at Suffolk University, has already become an acclaimed writer within the Boston area. An Italian-American himself, he has written The Boston Italians as well as Due to Enemy Action and  The Dark Tide.

A City So Grand is Puleo’s fourth book, which focuses on a part of Boston’s history that isn’t widely talked about. The novel ranges from the year 1850 to 1900 when the city was at its high point. Puleo talks about the 35-year Back Bay project, which would become a major undertaking for Boston. The book discusses the Abolitionist Movement, the anti-slavery movement of the 1850s, as well as the creation of the telephone, invented by Alexander Graham Bell. The importance of this time period is explained as a substantial part of Boston’s history. “It’s when the city really transforms from a small town to a world class city,” said Puleo.

The book is full of surprising content; however, readers will be most amazed to learn that Boston’s railroad system, the Great Railroad Jubilee of 1851, was the first American subway to be created. Puleo is one of the first to write about a time in Boston that has rarely been discussed. “Incredible changes happen,” he said about the transformation of Boston since the American Revolution.

A City So Grand is unique because of the style in which Puleo writes. An outstanding newspaper reporter and magazine reviewer, he writes narrative history in order to make it more exciting for the reader. “I try to use elements in my writing that keep the story moving,” he said. He uses real life characters and a creative writing style to make it interesting instead of a bland assortment of facts strung together like most historians are known for doing. It is clear that he does a tremendous amount of research before he starts writing. Puleo explains how starting with thorough background information is a big part of the writing process. Without it, his books would lack a certain element.

With it’s dynamic historical perspective and significant topics, A City So Grand is sure to be an enjoyable read for fans of Boston, or anyone who is curious about what made it the bustling city it is today.