A regional book, tracing in vivid chronicle, private enterprise in Boston from the arrival of the first settlers to the departure of the British soldiers in 1776. He writes of daring Yankee skippers, of brutal pirates, gentleman smugglers Boston's role in the slave trade, the evolution of the ""codfish aristocracy"", the mushroom growth of town and port. Then came the time when the Boston merchants had to shoot their way out. The Cradle of Liberty was lined with merchants' balance sheets. There's an eyewitness quality in his reporting which makes it extraordinarily good reading. For those to whom American history is fresh, this will add some spice to stereotyped pages. And give impetus to some independent thinking.