Saturday, January 16, 2016

Anthony Sammarco, and Boston history

I've listened, recently, to two enjoyable interviews--one, this past week; the other, in November or December--with historian and author Anthony Mitchell Sammarco, on Boston's WBZ Radio (a station I've written about with some regularity, in this space).  The interviews took place on Bradley Jay's overnight program.

Sammarco has written several dozen books about Boston, its neighborhoods, and environs (and points beyond, in Massachusetts).  Though I have not yet read his work, I look forward to doing so; it becomes quickly evident, listening to him, that he knows his history thoroughly.

Many of his books have been brought out by Arcadia Publishing, a press whose books I have enjoyed, over time.

Arcadia has a vast catalogue of titles, about America's cities/towns, locales, communities (and about other local and regionally-themed subjects).  The books are frequently picture-centric, focusing upon archival/vintage images, as opposed to contemporary views--as in the publisher's "Images of America" series (in which the books' covers, indeed, are sepia-toned).  (Current-era views can be seen in such Arcadia series as "Then & Now," and its "Images of Modern America" books.)  In 2014, Arcadia expanded its reach: it acquired The History Press (the American subsidiary of the UK's "The History Press, Ltd.).  Together, Arcadia and The History Press release some 900 titles each year.

Mr. Sammarco's books include:

Lost Boston, from Pavilion Books (2014)--which was the primary focus of this week's radio interview. The book looks at--as its description notes--some of the city's "disappeared buildings and places."

A History of Howard Johnson's:  How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became an American Icon (from American Palate, a division of The History Press, 2013).

The Great Boston Fire of 1872 (Arcadia, "Images of America" series, 1997).

Some of Mr. Sammarco's other books about Boston and its neighborhoods are:

Boston: A Historic Walking Tour (Arcadia, "Images of America" series); Boston's Back Bay (Arcadia, "Images of America"); Roxbury (from Arcadia's "Then & Now" series, with photographer Charlie Rosenberg); Charlestown ("Images of America"); Dorchester ("Then & Now"); South Boston ("Then & Now," with photographer Charlie Rosenberg); Jamaica Plain ("Images of America"); and Boston's North End ("Images of America").  He's also written "Images of America" books about New Bedford, Mass. (with Paul Buchanan), Georgetown, Mass., and Cambridge.

More about Mr. Sammarco's books can be found at this amazon link: 

Here, too, is a 2013 interview with Mr. Sammarco in The Boston Globe, about his Howard Johnson's book: