As Boston approaches its four-hundredth anniversary, it is remarkable that it still maintains its historic character despite constant development. The fifty buildings featured in this book all pre-date 1800 and illustrate Boston’s early history. This is the first book to survey Boston’s fifty oldest buildings and does so through an approachable narrative which will appeal to nonarchitects and those new to historic preservation. Beginning with a map of the buildings’ locations and an overview of the historic preservation movement in Boston, the book looks at the fifty buildings in order from oldest to most recent. Geographically, the majority of the buildings are located within the downtown area of Boston along the Freedom Trail and within easy walking distance from the core of the city. This makes the book an ideal guide for tourists, and residents of the city will also find it interesting as it includes numerous properties in the surrounding neighborhoods. The buildings span multiple uses from homes to churches and warehouses to restaurants. Each chapter features a building, a narrative focusing on its historical significance, and the efforts made to preserve it over time. Full color photos and historical drawings illustrate each building and area. Boston’s Oldest Buildings and Where to Find Them presents the ideals of historic preservation in an approachable and easy-to-read manner appropriate for the broadest audience. Perfect for history lovers, architectural enthusiasts, and tourists alike.
From the beginning of the colonial period to the recent conflicts in the Middle East, encounters with the Muslim world have helped Americans define national identity and purpose. Focusing on America's encounter with the Barbary states of North Africa from 1776 to 1815, Robert Allison traces the perceptions and mis-perceptions of Islam in the American mind as the new nation constructed its ideology and system of government.
"A powerful ending that explains how the experience with the Barbary states compelled many Americans to look inward . . . with increasing doubts about the institution of slavery." —David W. Lesch, Middle East Journal
"Allison's incisive and informative account of the fledgling republic's encounter with the Muslim world is a revelation with a special pertinence to today's international scene." —Richard W. Bulliet, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"This book should be widely read. . . . Allison's study provides a context for understanding more recent developments, such as America's tendency to demonize figures like Iran's Khumaini, Libya's Qaddafi, and Iraq's Saddam." —Richard M. Eaton, Eighteenth Century Studies
Born to a prominent Philadelphia family in 1779, Stephen Decatur at age twenty-five became the youngest man ever to serve as a captain in the U.S. Navy. His intrepid heroism, leadership, and devotion to duty made him a perfect symbol of the aspirations of the growing nation. Leading men to victory in Tripoli, the War of 1812, and the Algerian war of 1815, and coining the phrase "Our country, right or wrong," Decatur created an enduring legend of bravery, celebrated in poetry, song, paintings, and the naming of dozens of towns—from Georgia to Alabama to Illinois.
After the War of 1812, Decatur moved to Washington to help direct naval policy. His close friendships with James Madison, John Quincy Adams, and other political leaders soon made him a rising star in national politics. He and his wife Susan made their elegant home on Lafayette Square near the White House a center of Washington society. The capital and the entire nation were shocked in 1820 when Decatur died at the age of forty-one in a duel with a rival navy captain.
In this carefully researched and well-written biography, historian Robert Allison tells the story of Decatur's eventful life at a time when the young republic was developing its own identity—when the American people were deciding what kind of nation they would become. Although he died prematurely, Decatur played a significant role in the shaping of that national identity.