Through observations of modern-day Boston, a veteran nature writer recounts the city's natural past, from volcanic eruptions to reclaimed parks How much does the current landscape of Boston, Massachusetts, resemble the land mass known as the Shawmut Peninsula, where it was conceived and built hundreds of years ago--a place that Captain John Smith referred to in 1614 as the Paradise of all these parts? John Hanson Mitchell, author of the classic Ceremonial Time and many other books, takes readers along as he investigates Boston's natural past. He explores a variety of habitats as he ranges outward from the core of the peninsula where the Puritans first settled to the ancient rim of the Boston Basin, within which the modern city now lies. Mitchell leaves no stone unturned--literally. He delves into Boston's deep glacial origins and the more recent manipulations of land and water to create new neighborhoods and roads. But Mitchell focuses most on the generally unnoticed and yet surprisingly diverse variety of plants and animals that still thrive in this curiously anomalous city. The Paradise of All These Parts offers a one-of-a-kind perspective on one of America's most historic cities. It combines natural history that never fails to entertain and inform with beautiful language and a wealth of fascinating facts about the natural and not-so-natural world of Boston.