At one of America's oldest bookshops, there are just as many stories to be told outside the pages as in them. Join Brattle Book Shop proprietor Kenneth Gloss and co-host Jordan Rich as they share insightful and entertaining conversations and histories surrounding Boston's favorite spot for bibliophiles. Topics range from military autobiographies to regional cookbooks and everything in between. Updates every two weeks.
Brattlecast #90 - Go West!
Ken takes a journey from West Street out to Western Massachusetts and finds a bonanza of early material on the Westward expansion. Not long after the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition, there were magazines selling the idea of missionary work, opportunity, and adventure in the Pacific Northwest, brochures encouraging people to settle and farm in the Midwest, and travel posters created by railroad companies to promote the newly created National Parks. These engaging pieces of ephemera can give us a new perspective on how it might have felt to live through this often romanticized era of American history.
Brattlecast #89 - Virtual Book Fairs
The Boston Antiquarian Book Fair is going online! Visit www.abaa.org/vbf this Thursday the 12th through Saturday the 14th to browse items from over 150 booksellers (including the Brattle), or to attend one of the six free virtual seminars. We’ll be replenishing our stock throughout the fair so be sure to check back often. Of course we miss seeing our colleagues and customers in person, but we’ll be together again at the Hynes Convention Center someday, and until then we’re happy to answer any questions, book fair or otherwise, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brattlecast #88 - Electoral Collectibles
As the 2020 presidential election looms on the horizon, we’re taking a look at some collectible ephemera from past elections, like campaign literature written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and an unused ballot from the 1994 South African election in which Nelson Mandela was elected president. We’ll also explore some of the most negative campaigns in American history, including one so vicious that it may have been responsible for the death of Andrew Jackson’s wife. Finally, we’ll speculate on which uniquely cursed items from this year, such as the “Settle for Biden” face mask, may be of interest to future collectors and historians.
Brattlecast #86 - The Boy Soldier
The ROTC was phased out of many high schools and colleges during the Vietnam War, but is making a comeback today, for better or worse. We’ll take a look at the history of this controversial organization by way of a book that predates it: The Boy Soldier, a textbook of infantry tactics for school children, first published in 1863 and available now at the Brattle Book Shop. Plus, we’ll take a look behind the scenes, at this process of determining a price for an extremely rare book like this one, which can be harder to research than other sought after but relatively more common works.
Brattlecast #85 - Brattle on the MTA
Boston’s MBTA—iconic, idiosyncratic, and frequently vexing—features the oldest subway system in the United States, and probably the only one to have inspired a hit folk song about its fare hikes. Today we’ll take a look at MBTA ephemera, a big box of which has just arrived in the shop, and at train-related collecting in general. Collectors seek out antique subway signs, lovely frameable maps, evocative timetables of the vanished bus lines of their youth, and much more. Plus we’ll ask, in a time of looming climate change and increased social unrest around fare evasion, should public transportation be free?
Brattlecast #84 - Facsimiles
Today we’re talking facsimiles: Why the real, original Declaration of Independence doesn’t look like it was printed on crinkly, pirate treasure map-style brown paper! The early work that Edgar Allan Poe hated so much that he tried to destroy, but only succeeded in making the surviving copies all the more monetarily (but not poetically) valuable! The publishing house creating such beautiful facsimile editions of modern literature that people started using them to do dust jacket fraud! The advances in printing technology that have recently made it possible to forge an entire book! And why, sometimes, the hardest thing about spotting a fake is letting its owner down easy.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I thoroughly enjoy listening and visiting Brattle Book Shop. Every book I have purchased has been unique and interesting!
A must listen for book collectors, you'll learn so much. Love Ken's stories!
Absolute gem to listen to
The stories and presentation are wonderful and a great listen. Facinating the stories tied to the old store.