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We launch this site just as our city and the United States again find the opportunity for an honest reckoning with their past. In sharing stories of Greater Bostonians who challenged oppression and exploitation, we hope to contribute to present conversations. As readers will discover, our forebears were hardly silent or passive. Instead, they took on the powerful, setting out their grievances and often proposing alternatives. As such, their voices must be added to current dialogues and debates. More than merely promoting a book, this website will call attention to the struggles and issues raised by it. 

A People’s Guide to Greater Boston is available for purchase from independent bookstores throughout Greater Boston. It is also available for purchase online from vendors such as BookShop.org and the University of California Press.

Front Cover, A People’s Guide to Greater Boston.


Joseph Nevins was born and raised in Dorchester and is Professor of Geography at Vassar College. His books include A Not-So-Distant Horror: Mass Violence in East Timor; Dying to Live: A Story of U.S. Immigration in an Age of Global Apartheid; and Operation Gatekeeper and Beyond: The War on “Illegals” and the Remaking of the US-Mexico Boundary.

Suren Moodliar lives in Chelsea. He is a coordinator of encuentro5, a movement-building space in Boston, and editor of the journal Socialism and Democracy. He co-edited Noam Chomsky’s Internationalism or Extinction (2020), Turnout! Mobilizing Voters in an Emergency (July 2020) with Matt Nelson and Charlie Derber, and coauthored Chomsky for Activists (2021) with Paul Shannon and Charlie Derber.

Eleni Macrakis grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now works in the field of affordable housing development in the Greater Boston area. She holds a Master in Urban Planning from Harvard University.

Please visit the acknowledgments page for more insight into the manifold and diverse contributions empowering this project.

About the book and our larger project

A People’s Guide to Greater Boston is available via your local, independent bookstore or online via the University of California Press website or Bookshop.org.

A “people’s guide” is necessarily an unending project. The book is but one intervention into the historical dramas that are playing out in our lands. It offers neither the first nor the last words. This website is a forum to continue the conversation, a place to reflect on the book’s stories, rethink the narratives, and enrich the movements that the book explores.

On this website, we feature some of the sites described in the book, add new ones, and think about candidates for an expanded “People’s Guide to Greater Boston.” As such, it does not replace the book (yes, please buy or borrow a copy), but it furthers the book and its strategy of telling stories about particular places in order to introduce or better understand the movements they have engendered, and the region and the places within that they reflect.

We also use the site to plan new projects, announce and detail our walking tours, and provide commentary on current topics before our city–which we also do via our facebook page. As such, it is also a place for dialogue with the authors and other contributors to the conversations.

To learn more about the book, check out this video (below) that we made in November 2020, for the first Massachusetts Book Bites, an online event co-produced by the Boston Book Festival and the Massachusetts center for the Book.


Massachusetts Hall (Harvard University)

Harvard Yard, Cambridge` Twenty-five students exited Massachusetts Hall on May 8, 2001, to cheers and applause of two thousand people gathered outside. The students’ departure marked the end of a 21-day occupation of the university’s oldest extant building, within which is located the offices of Harvard’s president, The action was the culmination of a four-year …

Our Lady of Presentation School/The Presentation School Foundation Community Center

640 Washington Street, Brighton Graduation ceremonies for Our Lady of Presentation School normally took place inside the Catholic elementary school. On June 9, 2005, however, the one for the kindergarten was held across the street in Brighton’s Oak Square Common. The ceremony was one of both celebration and protest—protest against the Archdiocese of Boston’s abrupt …

Harmony Grove

156 and 166 Franklin Street, Framingham Established in 1846, Harmony Grove was a commercial pleasure park. It had a lawn area for games, a dancing pavilion, and, as it sat on the edge of Farm Pond, a boathouse. It also had an amphitheater of sorts, in a natural depression, with benches that sat about a …


Please contact the authors via info >at< bostonbook [dot] org