When we started the research for this book in 2014, none of us imagined how much work the project would involve. Nor did we anticipate how much we would learn in the process—not least the profound limitations of our own knowledge of things Greater Boston and the larger world of which it is part and that it has helped to produce.

If no person is an island, no book is the work of only those credited with authorship. In our case, to the extent that we have made headway in understanding and illuminating the region, it is due to an immeasurable degree to the many individuals who have helped us. This book is the result of many conversations, real and imagined, direct and indirect, with people past and present. That the Greater Boston area enjoys so many insightful and generous individuals—many of whom have shared their knowledge through their writings, others through their speech, still others through the organizing and activism (and via a combination of these different activities)—speaks to the region’s great dynamism and wealth (of a sort far beyond that associated with capital).

While there are many people to thank in Greater Boston, we’d like to highlight a small number who helped us in myriad ways over the course of the project. Jim Beauchesne, Nick Brown, Aviva Chomsky, Bob Forrant, and Tunney Lee stand out for their multiple forms of support. They answered our countless questions, suggested things to read and people to contact, read drafts of entries and entire sections, and offered helpful feedback. The book is much richer than it would have been otherwise.

In the early stages of our research and writing, we reached out to a number of people to interview them about their experiences and areas of expertise and help us brainstorm about what A People’s Guide to Greater Boston might or should look like. In addition to the individuals mentioned above, they include Michael Bronski, Jeff Crosby, Marilyn Frankenstein, Jim Kaplan, Mel King, Penn Loh, Dorotea Manuela, Jason Pramas; Sandra Ruiz-Harris, Fred Salvucci, Paul Shannon, John Trumpbour, Chuck Turner, and Ann Withorn. They were all generous with their time, memories, and insights. Moreover, some of them read and constructively commented on components of the manuscript. We also benefited greatly from the resources of libraries, archives, and historical societies throughout Greater Boston and beyond. They include the A. J. Muste Memorial Institute; Boston Public Library (and its Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and various branch libraries); Brighton-Allston Historical Society; Brockton Public Library; Cambridge Historical Commission; Cambridge Public Library; Chinese Historical Society of New England; City of Boston Archive; City of Chelsea Public Library; Countway Harvard Center for the History of Medicine; Dorchester Historical Society; Harvard University Archives; Historic New England; The History Project; Lawrence History Center; Lawrence Public Library; Lynn Public Library; Massachusetts Historical Society; New York Public Library; North End Historical Society; Pollard Memorial Library (Lowell); South Boston Historical Society; Archives and Special Collections, Snell Library at Northeastern University; W.E.B. DuBois Special Collections and Archives, and Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries; UMass Boston Archives, and Wellesley College Archives.

While there are many people at these institutions who assisted us in countless ways, a few deserve special mention. At the Lawrence History Center, Kathy Flynn and Amita Kiley were always very generous with their time, insights, and good humor. The knowledge and resources that they shared with us were invaluable in helping us gain an appreciation for the richness (and nuances) of Lawrence.

For the images in this book, we called upon Aaron Schmidt of the Boston Public Library’s Print Division, Molly Brown at Northeastern University’s Snell Library, Archives, and Special Collections, and Marta Crilly of the Boston City Archives on many occasions, and they came through for us—almost invariably.

And then there’s Chris Glass, a research librarian at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, where we spent an inordinate amount of time combing through the stacks and archives, collaborating and writing. From the first time we asked Chris for assistance, he expressed great support for the project and exhibited it through his efforts to track down information for us—information that we were often convinced was not findable, but, more often than not, he proved otherwise. Chris undertook many tasks—big and small—for us in his professional capacity and did so with great skill and generosity. We are in his debt.

Many others provided various forms of assistance, big and small—by, for example, suggesting topics to pursue or sites to explore, providing information or resources, making themselves available for an interview, or providing feedback on entries. We thank them (and apologize to anyone we have forgotten to include) and list them here in alphabetical order: Hal Abelson; Emily Achtenberg; Frank Ackerman; Joshua Alba; Vicente Alba-Panama; Michael Albert; José Aleman; Alistair Towesland Allen; Matt Andrews; Dexter Arnold; Che Arraj; Katherine Asuncion; Christine Bachman-Sanders; Jose Barros; Jane Becker; Dawn Belkin-Martinez; Alison Bell; Marcella Bencivenni; Michele Berger; Will Blum; Christopher Bonanos; Libby Bouvier; Natalie Brady; John Broderick; Nino Brown; Irene Bruce; Doug Brugge; Lauren “Tess” Bundy; Ed Cafasso; Michael Cane; Ross Caputi; Daniel Casieri; Evan Casper-Futterman; Karen Chen; Jonathan Chenette; Susan Chin-sen; Noam Chomsky; Chuck Collins; Rodnell P. Collins; Pasqualino Colombaro; Donald Coloumbe; Mary Jo Connolly; Bridget Cooley; Karilyn Crockett; Jeff Crosby; Bob Cullum; Robert D’Attilio; Leilah Danielson; Russ Davis; Ben Day; Barbara Deck; Christine M. DeLucia; Charlie Derber; Tim Devin; David Dinklage; Diane Dujon; Jack Eckert; Andrew Elder; Neena Estrella Luna; Chris Faraone; David Fichter; Marisa Figueiredo; Lorenz Finison; Britta Fischer; Gail Fithian; Kate Flaherty; Susan Fleischmann; Robin Fleming; Gabrielle Flohr; Lorraine Fowlkes; Herb Fox; Kaitlyn Fox; Marilyn Frankenstein; Demita Frazier; Christopher Fung; Siobhan Gallagher; Laura Gang; Jack Geiger; Ted German; Michael Gerry; Livia Gershon; Yesenia Gil; Mike Godbe; Brian Godfrey; Rebecca Goldman; David Goodman; Susan Goodwin; David Grosser; Shep Gurwitz; Robert Hannan; John Harris; Cole Harrison; Dan Hawkins; Loie Hayes; David Himmelstein; Rachel Hock; Amy Hoffman; Bill Hoynes; Caroline Hunter; Cassie Hurd; Susan Jacoby; Dave Jenkins; Chuck Jones; Mimi Jones; Paula Jones; Rick Jones; Peter Kadzis; Don Kales; Michael Kane; Jerry Kaplan; Jim Kaplan; Natasha Karunaratne; Dylan Kaufman-Obstler; Nancy Kearns; Joe Kebartas; Joyce Kelly; Martin Kessler; Amita Kiley; Gavin Kleespies; Mariel Klein; Richard Knight; Dan “the Bagel Man” Kontoff; Kathy Kottaridis; Lisa Kulyk-Bourque; Brian Kwoba; Jasmine Laietmark; Alisa LaSotnik; Jerry Lembcke; Charles Levenstein; Richard Levins; Elaine Lewinnek; Penny Lewis; Mike Leyba; Juan Leyton; Michael Liu; Lydia Lowe; Jason Lydon; Joel Mackall; Duncan MacLaury; Paul Malachi; Mary Marra; Homefries Matthews; Olivia May; Arthur McEwan; Kevin McHenry; Julie McVay; Liz Mestres; John Miller; Derek Mitchell; Emily T. Molina; Kate Moore; Samantha Muller; Myrna Morales; Robert Morris; Mahtowin Munro; Carol Nevins; Judy Norsigian; Brian O’Connell; Tom O’Connell; Lisa Owens; Cole Palatini; Alex Papali; Ronald Patkus; Monica Pelayo; Cynthia Peters; Linda Pinkow; Michael Prokosch; Brynne Quinlan; Joseph Ramsey; Marcia Rasmussen; Kathleen (Kit) Rawlins; Marcus Rediker; Kaitlin Reed; Mary Regan; Sergio Reyes; Kimberly Reynolds; Celeste Ribeiro Myers; Alessandra Rico; Dan Rico; Simon Rios; Jeanette Roach; Marilynne Roach; Michelle Romero; David Rubin; Greg Ruggiero; David Russo; Laura Russo; Anthony Sammarco; Louise Sandberg; Conrado Santos; Pat Scanlon; Sigrid Schmalzer; Jill Schneiderman; Juliet Schor; Gerry Scoppettuolo; Fred Seavey; Paul Shannon; Jennifer Siegel; Isaac Simon Hodes; Manisha Sinha; Lydia Sisson; Karen Slater; Nathanial Smith; Ethan Snow; Mark Solomon; Fred Sperounis; Dean Stevens; Dottie Stevens; Heather Stevenson; Jonas Stundza; Chris Sturr; Charles Sullivan; Felicia Sullivan; Abha Sur; Mike Tamulis; Earl Taylor; Weimin Tchen; Felipe Cupertino Teixeira; Evan Thornberry; Chris Tilly; Roberto Torres-Collazo; Wen-ti Tsen; Yanni Tsipis; Moriah Tumbleson-Shaw; Pavel Uranga; Karen Valentino; Tony Van Der Meer; Charlie Vasiliades; Jim Wallace; Victor Wallis; Charlie Welch; Jessy Wheeler; Janine Whitcomb; Caroline White; Greg Williams; Ann Withorn; Catherine T. Wood; Steffie Woolhandler; Charles Yancey; and Liza Zayas.

In addition, there were many Greater Bostonians to whom we are grateful for engaging us in conversations—often at their initiative—when we were visiting sites, for sharing information, and sometimes telling us about other sites we did not know about.

At Vassar College, Adele Birkenes, Richard Bryenton, and Kaitlin Reed provided valuable research assistance at various stages of the project. Funding from the college’s Committee on Research was vital in allowing us to employ a research assistant based in Greater Boston and to purchase rights to numerous images.

This book is part of a series. For that reason alone, we’d be remiss if we did not thank the editors of the “People’s Guide” series—Laura Barraclough; Wendy Cheng; and Laura Pulido (in Laura Pulido’s case not least for taking seriously our immodest suggestion that we write the book after she asked if we knew anyone who might be capable of doing so). Throughout the process, Wendy Cheng served as our editor and did so admirably, patiently addressing our concerns and questions and providing very helpful feedback throughout the process.

We are also grateful to the University of California Press for publishing the book, to Kim Robinson, our editor at the press, for her support, Benjy Malings for his help with matters related to the images we use here, Peter Perez and Jolene Torr for their work on the publicity front, and to Summer Farah for her editorial assistance. In addition, we thank Francisco Reinking for overseeing the production process at the press, Holly Bridges for her skilled copyediting, Nicole Hayward for designing the book, and Jim O’Brien for putting together the index. External reviewers solicited by the press provided a lot of helpful feedback on our original manuscript—Aviva Chomsky, Marie Kennedy, and Fred Sperounis. We thank them for their reviews and for having follow-up discussions with us. Neil Horsky produced all but one of the maps contained in this book. We deeply appreciate his artistry and creativity and thank him for sharing his skills and knowledge of Greater Boston with us—as well as for his support throughout the project.

Finally, our families and loved ones supported us (and put up with us) in too many ways to mention. So big thanks are due to Mizue Aizeki; Amina and Sayako Aizeki-Nevins; Charlie Klemmer, Stavros Macrakis, Kira Moodliar, Carol Nevins, Francesca Pignoni, and Dominique Stassart.