Book Talk: A History of Boston with Daniel Dain and Peter Vanderwarker



Central Library in Copley Square


Sep 25, 2024


6:00 EDT


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About this event

Join author Daniel Dain and photographer Peter Vanderwarker as they talk about their new book, A History of Boston. They will act as your tour guide through the history of the City and discuss what lessons can be learned for the challenges of a modern city today.

Boston is today one of the world’s greatest cities, first in higher education, hospitals, life science companies, and sports teams. It was the home of the Great Puritan Migration, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the first civil rights movement, the abolition movement, and the women’s rights movement. But the city that gave us the first use of ether as anesthesia, the telephone, technicolor film, and the mutual fund―the city where Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott founded their world-changing partnership―was also the hub of the anti-immigration movement, the divisive busing era, and decades of self-inflicted decay.

Boston has the most important history of any American city. Yet its history has never been given a comprehensive treatment until now. Tour with Dan Dain from the arrival of First Peoples up to the election of Boston’s first woman and person of color as mayor. Dain’s masterful work explores the policies and practices that took Boston from its highest heights to its lowest lows and back again, and examines the central role that density, diversity, and good urban design play in the success of cities like Boston.

We strive to make our events accessible. To request a disability accommodation and/or language services, please contact: Diane, 617-536-5400-x4115 or as soon as possible. Please allow at least two weeks to arrange for accommodations.

Cosponsored by the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library

Daniel Dain, author of the book A History of Boston, was born in Boston and grew up in Newton before leaving the area to attend Vassar College and Michigan Law School. Since then, he has spent his entire professional career as a lawyer in Boston working with commercial property owners and developers on issues related to their use and development of real estate. Dan is the founder and president of the law firm Dain Torpy, where he chairs the firm’s real estate litigation practice. Active in the community, he writes and lectures widely on land use law and urban planning. Dan is a co-founder and treasurer of the Needham Land Trust, is on the board of the business advocacy groups NAIOP of Massachusetts and A Better City, is a board member of the Vilna Shul on Beacon Hill, and manages a private equity fund that invests in independent local restaurants. He also chairs the arts company White Snake Projects, the Town of Needham’s Golf Club Advisory Committee, and the Massachusetts Real Estate Bar Association’s Litigation Section. The legal rating publication Super Lawyers has recognized Dan as one of the top 100 lawyers in Massachusetts every year since 2013. Dan is an avid hiker and is a fanatic follower of Boston and University of Michigan sports teams. He loves giving tours of Boston to friends and visitors, and is known for his ability to give restaurant recommendations for any cuisine or location around Greater Boston. He lives in Needham with his wife and two kids.

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