Staff Recommendations

Insider picks from Revolutionary Spaces experts


At Revolutionary Spaces, we are committed to the past, present, and future: to a living, unfolding, and ever-evolving democracy. Behind-the-scenes, this means that all of us here are constantly learning and sharing to keep up with dialogue in public history. Check out this month’s staff recommendations:

August 2023

For anyone interested in the intersection of music, performance, and protest, Lester Wong and Mandy Tuttle on our Retail Team recommend two books that explore this history and connection (both available at our Museum Stores!): 

  • Legends Icons and Rebels: Music that Changed the World by Jared Levine, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Robbie Robertson 
  • Songs of America by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw

For anyone interested in the history of protest in Boston, Director of Interpretation & Education Matt Wilding recommends two books which go beyond the typical narrative of protest in our city:

  • Fences and Windows by Naomi Klein
  • Boston Riots by Jack Tager

Education Coordinator Carina Ohlen has some great suggestions for younger readers and students interested in learning more about protest, protest music, and the fight for change:

  • Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Powell
  • Who Was the Voice of the People? Cesar Chavez by Terry Blas
  • Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreno Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle
  • Speak Up! by Miranda Paul

May 2023

Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places by Daniel Carpenter - by John R. Stilgoe - Places can be so captivating that they often guide us as we move through life and learn more about ourselves and our communities. John Stilgoe speaks of this experience, when he urges readers to get out and explore so that our landscapes can “become the theater that intrigues, relaxes, fascinates, seduces, and above all expands any mind focused on it.” His message is a reminder to public historians to spend time looking closely at and considering the places we live.

Recommended by Lo Sottile, Director of Development and Philanthropic Partnerships

March 2023

Democracy by Petition: Popular Politics in Transformation, 1790-1870 by Daniel Carpenter - An essential text for understanding the history and use of petitions in America with significant focus on the lives of Black and Indigenous people.

Recommended by Lucy Pollock, Exhibits & Interpretation Coordinator

Samuel Adams: The Revolutionary by Stacy Schiff (available in our Museum Stores!) In The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, Schiff brings her masterful skills to Adams’ improbable life, illuminating his transformation from aimless son of a well-off family to tireless, beguiling radical who mobilized the colonies.

December 2023

How the Word Is PassedA Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be.

A New Space for our Ideals is Revolutionary Spaces panel discussion originally recorded in spring 2021 that considers the role Revolutionary-Era sites play as monuments in our society and how they can lead to conversation about our national values.

November 2023

First Nations Recommendations is a list of essential reading for anyone interested in learning about the Native American experience.

This Land is Their LandThe Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving by David Silverman

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