Other Publications by Jim O’Connell

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I once heard historian David McCullough say at a conference held in Pittsburgh, his hometown, that he wrote his first book, The Johnstown Flood, when he set out to learn about the disastrous flood of 1889 and couldn’t find a good book about it. So he researched and wrote his own version of The Johnstown Flood.

A similar impulse has impelled me to write six books and numerous articles. My subjects have been places where I have lived—Springfield, MA and the Pioneer Valley, Cape Cod, and metropolitan Boston. I reached a point with each place where there was a yawning gap in the writing about its history and contemporary development issues, so I started to nose around and ended up with a book.

My books include:

The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth (2013)

Becoming Cape Cod: Creating a Seaside Resort (2003)

The Pioneer Valley Reader (1995)

Shaping an Urban Image: Downtown Planning in Springfield, Massachusetts (1990)

The Inside Guide to Springfield and the Pioneer Valley (1986).

Chapters about regional planning and civic leadership for two editions of Governing Greater Boston (2002, 2003), an annual public policy review published by the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. To learn more about these books, visit