When Jim Botticelli launched the Dirty Old Boston Facebook page as a salute to the gritty city he once knew, he discovered that thousands of people were equally nostalgic and curious about Boston’s recent past. And for good reason; during the four decades following World War II, Boston changed rapidly, without apology, for better and for worse, and in many ways forever.
A rich and compelling collection, Dirty Old Boston chronicles the people, streets, and buildings from the postwar years to 1987, when a new wave of transformation began. From ball games to dive bars, and amidst an ever-changing skyline, Dirty Old Boston also covers some of the city’s most dramatic and tumultuous events including the wholesale razing of neighborhoods, Boston’s busing crisis, and the continual fight for affordable housing.
Photographs—assembled from family albums, student projects, institutional archives, and professional collections—reveal Boston as seen from the streets. What emerges is a narrative of a city tearing down and rebuilding, protesting and celebrating, fading and thriving. Illuminating Boston’s singular tenacity and spirit, Dirty Old Boston presents our proud moments and doesn’t shy away from our growing pains. Here are the challenges we faced: the maddening traffic and outlandish politics, the simple pleasures of block parties and parades, and those neighborhood haunts where we found camaraderie amidst it all. Raw and beautiful, this book is an important and evocative tribute to the city and its people.
You can pick up a copy at Barnes and Noble, the Brookline Booksmith, Porter Square Books, New England Mobile Bookfair, Sault New England, Newbury Comics stores, the brand-new Papercuts Bookstore in JP, and the Museum of Fine Arts gift shop. More to come – head out and support your local independent bookstore! We’ll keep a running list of availability here and on the Dirty Old Boston Facebook page.
DOB IN THE NEWS
Boston Globe – November 2014
Radio Boston – November 2014
Dig Boston – November 2014
Improper Bostonian – November 2014
Boston Zest - November 2014
Boston Magazine – October 2014
Boston Globe – May 2013