A rich and many faceted history of the region of Eastern Massachusetts which high-lights the social, cultural and economic contributions of this fountainhead of the citizens' commonwealth -- forty-fifth in the Rivers of America series. By the nature of its small unnavigable waterways, Massachusetts' communities from the start assumed a different character from the plantation colonies of its Southern neighbors, and the reliance on small, self-sufficient industries employing small capital and skilled labor gave rise to a decentralized, independent community organization from which emerged the genius of New England character -- a stolid individualist to whom property and individual rights are sacred. The author has traced the fortunes of Massachusetts from the first attempts at colonization, the Plymouth colony, founding of the small towns, first rumblings of the Revolution in which Massachusetts played so large a part, years of industrial and commercial expansion, changes in the temper of Massachusetts communities which overthrew the confining theocracies, and the continuous series of adjustments incumbent on the Bay State with the Westward expansion, -and finally a summing up of the current industrial and social issues. Remarkable studies of some of the great Yankee personalities -- notably John Adams and Daniel Webster -- underscore prevalent regional attitudes for which Dr. Howe displays such an active sympathy and appreciation. Less history is floated on the waterways this time, but as a study of granite-ribbed inland Yankeedom, this is a scholarly and entertaining work.