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The Boston Globe


Book Review

‘A Crisis of Community’ by Mary Babson Fuhrer

A 250-page history of a Massachusetts farm town in the early 1800s might not beg for immediate reading, but that would be a shame in the case of Mary Babson Fuhrer’s “A Crisis of Community: The Trials and Transformations of a New England Town, 1815-1848.” The Yankee Calvinist people of the town of Boylston happen to be very interesting.

There’s Mary White, a devout Congregationalist farm wife turned anti-slavery suffragist and her Federalist husband, who did not share her political views. And then there’s the couple’s son Aaron Jr., the eldest of 10, who shunned a rural life, became a fierce antibank crusader and who buried barrels filled with copper pennies throughout his yard.

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