This is a great book. Joe Bagley cuts through layers of the prevailing historical narrative to bring real people-and animals-back to life. A Massachusett hunting for deer on the Common, a child hiding a metal cop and robber toy in a yard outside an orphanage, a worshipper at a Beacon Hill synagogue, a horse pulling a Metropolitan Horse Railroad car out of a Roxbury station, a cat buried outside a Charlestown tavern-these are the characters of history. A skilled archaeologist, Bagley has unearthed many of these objects. But with the keen eye of a detective and the verve of a novelist, he has told their stories and the story of the city around them. Don’t read this book on the T-you will miss your stop!