FC 76 Dark Tide with Stephen Puleo

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Stephen Puleo, author of the book Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919.

Bio – Stephen Puleo

Stephen Puleo is an author, historian, university teacher, public speaker, and communications professional. His books include

In 2008, Steve was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by the Appian Club, an Italian-American organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Italian culture in Massachusetts. In 2007, he received the prestigious i migliori award, presented by the Pirandello Lyceum to Italian-Americans who have excelled in their fields of endeavor and made important contributions to society.

A former award-winning newspaper reporter and contributor of feature stories and book reviews to American History magazine and the Boston Globe, Puleo holds a master’s degree in history, for which he received the Dean’s Award for Academic Achievement, and was the Graduate Convocation keynote speaker. He teaches at Suffolk University in Boston.

You can learn more about Stephen Puelo at his author website, www.stephenpuleo.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Summary

Around noon on January 15, 1919, a group of firefighters was playing cards in Boston’s North End when they heard a tremendous crash. It was like roaring surf, one of them said later. Like a runaway two-horse team smashing through a fence, said another. A third firefighter jumped up from his chair to look out a window-“Oh my God!” he shouted to the other men, “Run!”

A 50-foot-tall steel tank filled with 2.3 million gallons of molasses had just collapsed on Boston’s waterfront, disgorging its contents as a 15-foot-high wave of molasses that at its outset traveled at 35 miles an hour. It demolished wooden homes, even the brick fire station. The number of dead wasn’t known for days. It would be years before a landmark court battle determined who was responsible for the disaster.

Book InfoDark Tide with Stephen Puleo on Fieldstone Common

Title: Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919

Publisher: Beacon Press (2003)

Trade Paperback; 273 pages with bibliographic essay, an index and some BxW photos.

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Dark Tide is so much more than just a book about a very unusual molasses flood. The book is set against the backdrop of WWI, the coming of prohibition and prejudice against immigrants. Steve and I talk about the building of the tank and how the political situation allowed it to be built in one of the most densely populated places in the United States. Steve reads a passage from one of the poignant moments at the bedside of a victim after the flood. We talk about the heros and the villains of the story and how the current events impacted their decisions. And lets not forget the anarchists! Sometimes we think that are current events are unique to us but this book proves that history repeats itself and we are none the wiser.

Prize Winners

One copy of Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Beacon Press.

The winner is:

  • Victor Jones of North Carolina

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Beacon Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/dark-tide-stephen-puleo

News & Announcements

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Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 76)?

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FC 75 Strong Boy with Christopher Klein

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Christopher Klein, author of the book Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero.

Bio – Christopher Klein

Christopher Klein is a history and travel writer and the author of two previous books, Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands: A Guide to the City’s Hidden Shores–which covers the rich history, recreational offerings, and heritage of each of the 34 islands that compose Strong Boy with Christopher Klein on Fieldstone Commonthe Boston Harbor Islands national park area–and The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston.

A frequent contributor to The Boston Globe and History.com, he has also written for The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Harvard Magazine, Red Sox Magazine, ESPN.com, Smithsonian.com, and AmericanHeritage.com.

Christopher graduated summa cum laude and with honors from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He is a member of the Boston Authors Club and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

You can learn more about Christopher Klein at his author website, www.ChristopherKlein.com and at his book website, www.strongboybook.com.
You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Summary

“I can lick any son-of-a-b— in the world.”

So boasted John L. Sullivan, the first modern heavyweight boxing champion of the world, a John L. Sullivan (Library of Congress photo)man who was the gold standard of American sport for more than a decade, and the first athlete to earn more than a million dollars. He had a big ego, big mouth, and bigger appetites. His womanizing, drunken escapades, and chronic police-blotter presence were godsends to a burgeoning newspaper industry. The larger-than-life boxer embodied the American Dream for late nineteenth-century immigrants as he rose from Boston’s Irish working class to become the most recognizable man in the nation. In the process, the “Boston Strong Boy” transformed boxing from outlawed bare-knuckle fighting into the gloved spectacle we know today.

Strong Boy tells the story of America’s first sports superstar, a self-made man who personified the power and excesses of the Gilded Age. Everywhere John L. Sullivan went, his fists backed up his bravado. Sullivan’s epic brawls, such as his 75-round bout against Jake Kilrain, and his cross-country barnstorming tour in which he literally challenged all of America to a fight are recounted in vivid detail, as are his battles outside the ring with a troubled marriage, wild weight and fitness fluctuations, and raging alcoholism. Strong Boy gives readers ringside seats to the colorful tale of one of the country’s first Irish-American heroes and the birth of the American sports media and the country’s celebrity obsession with athletes.

Book InfoStrong Boy with Christopher Klein on Fieldstone Common

Title: Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero

Publisher: Lyons Press (2013)

Hardcover; 353 pages with end notes, bibliography, an index and BxW photos.

Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Chris and I talk about John L. Sullivan the son of a humble Irish immigrant family who went on to achieve sports super stardom in the realm of boxing. The Irish had a difficult time, first with the famine in Ireland and then later with prejudice in America. John L. Sullivan had a fighting aptitude for boxing at a time when the rules of boxing were changing.  Gone were the rules that allowed for barefisted fighting, hair pulling and wrestling. These were replaced with more civilized rules including the use of gloves and three-minute rounds.  With fame also came alcoholism and other vices for John L. Sullivan. Surprisingly after his retirement from boxing Sullivan continued to be a sought after star in the theatre and other areas.  In 1905 he gave up drinking and embraced the temperance movement.  Author Christoper Klein regards John L. Sullivan as America’s First Sports Hero.

Prize Winners

One copy of Strong Boy: The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Lyons Press.

The winner is: :

  • Bruce Longley of New York
  • Margaret Sullivan of Massachusetts

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Lyons Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/strong-boy-christopher-klein

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 75)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 75 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

FC 74 The Dawn of American Independence with Brian Deming

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Brian Deming, author of the book Boston and the Dawn of American Independence.

Bio – Brian Deming

Brian Deming, author of Boston and the Dawn of American Independence on Fieldstone CommonBrian Deming grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has a master’s degree in American history from Northwestern University. He was a newspaper reporter in Brighton and Jackson, Michigan, and in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He also worked as a magazine editor and freelance journalist in Munich, Prague, Tokyo, Manila, San Francisco, and Chicago, as well as Watertown, Massachusetts, and taught American history at the University of New York in Prague. His other books are Jackson, An Illustrated History; Hitler and Munich (with Ted Iliff); and Wind Time, Wolf Time (a novel about the Thirty Years War). He and his wife live in Toronto, where he works as a freelance editor.

You can learn more about Brian Deming at his website, Boston Dawn.

Book Summary

In 1760, no one could imagine the American colonies revolting against Great Britain. The colonists were not hungry peasants groaning under the whip of a brute. They lived well. Land was cheap, wages were good, opportunities abounded. While many colonists hadBrian Deming, author of Boston and the Dawn of American Independence on Fieldstone Common been in the New World for generations, they identified with Britain, and England was still “home.” Yet in the space of just fifteen years these sturdy bonds snapped. Boston—a town of just 16,000—lit the fire for American Independence. Brian Deming explains how and why in his lucid, lively, and deeply researched Boston and the Dawn of American Independence.

To dodge British taxes, Boston merchants for as long as anyone could remember had routinely smuggled in molasses from French and Spanish possessions in the Caribbean. Boston distillers transformed this sweet cargo into rum, the liquid gold traded around the world. But British authorities cracked down on smuggling and imposed the Sugar Act to help pay for the debts incurred during their wars against France. Then came the hated Stamp Act, a tax on documents, newspapers, and printed materials of all kinds. In courtrooms, in the press, and in the streets, Bostonians rallied in protest against taxation without representation. As anger swept America, Boston was at the center of the storm, which burst forth with the infamous massacre and the Boston Tea Party. By 1775, open warfare erupted at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. Boston and the Dawn of American Independence ties these scenes together with the people of the time, including John and Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere, as well as Thomas Hutchinson, the beleaguered Massachusetts royal governor, and James Otis, the bombastic, unstable early patriot. Readers hear their voices, but also those of many amazing, colorful, and memorable personalities— feisty mob leaders, defiant Tories, terrified townspeople. Deming illuminates this epic story with views of everyday life inside taverns, outside newspaper offices, and along the wharves, and the political dramas in London and Philadelphia that shaped the destiny of an empire and gave rise to the world’s first modern democracy.

Book InfoBrian Deming author of Boston and the Dawn of American Independence on Fieldstone Common

Title: Boston and the Dawn of American Independence

Publisher: Westholme Publishing (2013)

Hardcover; 508 pages with end notes, bibliography, an index and BxW photos and illustrations.

Boston and the Dawn of American Independence is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Brian and I talk about the characters involved in politics at the start of the American Revolution such as Thomas Hutchinson, James Otis Jr., Sam Adams, John Hancock and many more. We also talked about the women of the Revolutionary era in Boston such as Jane Mecom, Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams. Since the book was quite a detailed undertaking we talked about Brian’s process for writing and footnoting all the information. At the very end we get into a brief discussion about journalism and all the places his career has taken him over the years.

Prize Winners

One copy of Boston and the Dawn of American Independence was given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Westholme Publishing.

The winner is: :

  • Rich Sandler of Oregon

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Westholme Publishing for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/american-independence-brian-deming/

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 74)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 74 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

FC 73 Becoming Tom Thumb with Eric Lehman

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Eric D. Lehman, author of the book Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P. T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity.

Bio

Eric D. Lehman directs the creative writing program at the University of Bridgeport, as well as teaching both writing and literature. Although he has taught over twenty different courses, his signature class is the Literature of Travel and Adventure. He is the editor of the school literary magazine, Groundswell, and of the faculty essay series, The Have you listened to the interview with George Morgan and Drew Smith yet? You won't want to miss this one! www.FieldstoneCommon.comCommons. In his spare time, he researches Henry Miller, writing academic essays for Nexus: The International Henry Miller Journal.

In addition to Becoming Tom Thumb, Eric has published six books including: A History of Connecticut Wine: Vineyard in Your Backyard, Bridgeport: Tales from the Park City, Hamden: Tales from the Sleeping Giant; Insiders’ Guide to Connecticut, A History of Connecticut Food, co-written with his wife, and Afoot in Connecticut.

Eric is also an editor of and contributor to the Connecticut Literary Collective, a guide to literary journals for Connecticut writers. His essays, reviews, poems, and stories have been published in dozens of journals and magazines such as The Writer, Gastronomica, Antique Trader, and the New Haven Review.

Originally from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, he moved to Connecticut fifteen years ago and fell in love with the state. He believes that history and travel help us know the place we live, and therefore know ourselves.

You can learn more about Eric Lehman at his website.

Book Summary

When P. T. Barnum met twenty-five-inch-tall Charles Stratton at a Bridgeport, Connecticut hotel in 1843, one of the most important partnerships in entertainment history was born. Gravestone of General Tom Thumb aka Charles StrattonWith Barnum’s promotional skills and the miniature Stratton’s comedic talents, they charmed a Who’s Who of the 19th century, from Queen Victoria to Charles Dickens to Abraham Lincoln. Adored worldwide as “General Tom Thumb,” Stratton played to sold-out shows for almost forty years. From his days as a precocious child star to his tragic early death, Becoming Tom Thumb tells the full story of this iconic figure for the first time. It details his triumphs on the New York stage, his epic celebrity wedding, and his around-the-world tour, drawing on newly available primary sources and interviews. From the mansions of Paris to the deserts of Australia, Stratton’s unique brand of Yankee comedy not only earned him the accolades of millions of fans, it helped move little people out of the side show and into the lime light.

Book InfoBecoming Tom Thumb by Eric D. Lehman on Fieldstone Common

Title: Becoming Tom Thumb: Charles Stratton, P. T. Barnum, and the Dawn of American Celebrity

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2013)

Hardcover; 246 pages with end notes, bibliography, an index and BxW photos and illustrations.

Becoming Tom Thumb is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Eric and I talk about Charles Stratton, the successful man. It’s hard to call him Tom Thumb after reading this book and seeing him as a real person. This story will challenge all the preconceived notions you have of General Tom Thumb. He was smart, talented, entertaining and a leader in his community. We discuss, as well, the success of P.T. Barnum and the prejudices faced by little people later in the 19th century.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Becoming Tom Thumb were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Wesleyan University Press.

The winners are:

  • Joan Conklin of Massachusetts
  • Melinda Tarbox of Texas

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to Wesleyan University Press for their generosity in donating the books!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/becoming-tom-thumb-eric-lehman/

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 73)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 73 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

 

FC 72 Advanced Genealogy with George Morgan & Drew Smith

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guests are George G. Morgan and Drew Smith, authors of the book Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques.

Bio

George G. Morgan & Drew Smith

George G. Morgan & Drew Smith

George G. Morgan, an internationally recognized genealogy expert, is president of Aha! Seminars, Inc., and vice president of membership for the Federation of Genealogical Societies. He is the author of several books, including three editions of How to Do Everything: Genealogy. George co-produces The Genealogy Guys Podcast with Drew Smith.

Drew Smith, MLS, a librarian at the University of South Florida, is the “Rootsmithing with Technology” columnist for the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ FORUM magazine. He is chair of the Family History Information Standards Organization and president of the Florida Genealogical Society of Tampa.

You can learn more about George G. Morgan and Drew Smith at the Aha! Seminars website or on the Genealogy Guys podcast website.

Book Summary

Learn how to use innovative methods to unearth hard-to-find ancestors. Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques shows you, step by step, how to uncover elusive details by taking advantage of specialized tools and software programs and using proven best practices for breaking through the brick walls that have hindered your progress.

You’ll get professional advice on formulating a research strategy, understanding the details you discover, keeping careful track of your data, analyzing the evidence, and developing hypotheses. Real-world case studies demonstrate how you can apply the systematic procedures presented in this practical guide to your own research–and achieve success!

  • Examine the brick wall in detail to find potential weak spots that can be exploited into a breakthrough
  • Use brute force techniques that leave no stone unturned
  • Obtain exact copies of original records rather than derivative sources
  • Research the family, associates, and neighbors (FANs) of your brick wall ancestor
  • Consult with your family, friends, and colleagues to get a fresh perspective on your research
  • Use crowdsourcing–genealogy societies, online forums, social media, blogs, wikis, and podcasts
  • Apply technological solutions, including DNA testing and specialized genealogical software
  • Get tips on hiring a professional genealogical researcher with the appropriate credentials and references
  • Revisit your brick wall problem after honing your research skills
  • Review your evidence, develop a research strategy, and keep a meticulous research log

Book Info

Title: Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques

Publisher: McGraw Hill Education (2013)

Paperback; 206 pages with an index and BxW photos and illustrations.

Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview George, Drew and I talk about how to use more advanced research techniques to solve genealogy problems. As well we discuss DNA, crowd sourcing and when it’s appropriate to bring in a professional genealogist.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the McGraw Hill Education.

The winners are:

  • Pam Carter of Minnesota
  • Lori Hamilton of Connecticut

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the McGraw Hill Education for their generosity in donating the books!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/george-morgan-drew-smith/

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 72)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 72 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.