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Stephen Puleo Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Due to Enemy Action: The True World War II Story of the USS Eagle 56 (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Boston Italians: A Story of Pride, Perseverance, and Paesani, from the Years of the Great Immigration to the Present Day (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis: Boston 1850-1900 (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
American Treasures: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America's First Humanitarian Mission (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Great Abolitionist (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Stephen Puleo

Stephen Puleo is a non-fiction author with an impressive collection of well-written books to his name. Some of his works have been included in the high school curriculum. Before publishing his first book, Puleo worked as a newspaper reporter. He also has vast experience in public relations, speech coaching, and speechwriting. The talented author also worked as a history teacher at the University of Massachusetts, and he still teaches part-time at Suffolk University. However, most of his efforts are directed to his writing and public appearances across the country.

Dark Tide

Dark Tide is a historical book on what became The Great Boston Molasses flood. The year is 1919, around noon. A couple of firefighters are lazing in their office in North End, Boston, when they hear a tremendous crash. Some said that the crash sounded like a horse breaking through a fence, while others said it was more like a roaring surf. When one of these men looks out the window, he commands the rest to run, and this is the only reason why these firefighters live to tell this story. On that day, many in Boston lost their lives, at it took days for officers to come up with the correct number of people who died that day. So, what really happened?

A steel tank, 50-foot tall and filled with over 2 million gallons of molasses, had collapsed. This tank disgorged the molasses in the form of a 15-foot-high wave traveling at 35 miles per hour. The molasses wave destroyed everything in its wake, including the brick fire station. Many people drowned in the sludge, and it took years for the court to determine the people responsible for this deadly disaster. It turns out that a middle manager, eager to please his boss, had cut corners during the construction of a molasses tower. This structure, built in a highly-populated area, did not meet the right standards, and the clueless boss believed everything the middle manager reported.

Pleas from people working on this structure fell on deaf ears. It was clear that the construction was substandard, and when it started to leak, the manager ordered the workers to paint it in the molasses color so the leaks couldn’t be as obvious. When disaster strikes, many people, mostly poor immigrants, are killed. Instead of taking responsibility for its actions, the organization went into damage control and put hot-shot lawyers on their payroll. Somehow foreign terrorists are blamed for bombing the structure, and it takes years for the truth to come out in the open. A court battle that took a few years finally ensures that justice is done to those affected.

Dark Tide is a well-written, historically-accurate story. The author covers an unfortunate disaster that could have been prevented if not for a few people’s greed. One of the heroes in the story is Hugh Ogden, the judge who ruled against the owners. Not many expected him to stand up for the families of those who lost their loved ones or had to live with severe injuries. However, despite his political standing, the judge stuck with the truth and ensured that justice was served. This story shows how greed can be damaging. Cutting corners led to the death of many and the destruction of property worth thousands of dollars.

City So Grand

City So Grand covers the metamorphosis of Boston between 1850 and 1900. What was once a New England township went through a stunning transformation that saw the town become a great metropolis recognized worldwide. Boston gained international prominence in education, literature, social activism, medicine, transportation, commerce, and politics. So, what led to these transformations? How comes this city that appeared disadvantaged overtook so many others where growth and development are concerned? Throughout this book, the author tries to answer this question. He goes back to these last 50 years of the 19th century and tries to highlight the things that made Boston stand out.

First, Boston showed early that it could overcome the many challenges and obstacles on its way. The successes were repeated and resounding, which gave the town and its inhabitants courage to get even more daring. This city’s journey to the top starts with the abolitionist movement in the 1950s and ends with opening the first subway station in America. In between, close to forty years of city planning and engineering through the Back Bay project and continuous immigration, which saw Boston explode in size push this metropolis to the top. The author also covers the Great Fire witnessed in 1872 and shows how the downtown was rebuilt in just a few years.

With the above and more stories, the author paints a clear portrait of Boston’s grown in half a century. The Boston we know today would not be what it is without the people who dared to dream. A lot happened because of the leaders who ensured sober decision-making and quick action in calamities. This story is told in Puleo’s standard page-turning style. Don’t be surprised if you keep on reading, even if you are not a history fan. The content is intriguing, and the anecdotes make the book read like a conversation with a dear friend. It is clear that immigrants played a key role in developing this city and the numerous construction projects saw many come to Boston in search of work.

City So Grand is a must-read if you have ever lived in Boston or are interested in its history. It is no secret that Boston contributed a great deal to American culture and history. The author documents how the city grew to become what it is today. Aside from highlighting the developments in infrastructure and education, the author also touches on immigrants’ plight. They went through trials and tribulations before learning how to reach their zenith and join others in building the town. Thanks to the smaller interesting stories that make up the big one, this book is fascinating and nothing like your average history book.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Stephen Puleo

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