Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History


Book Description

The lives of notorious bad guys, perpetrators of mischief, visionary–if misunderstood–thinkers, and other colorful antiheroes, jerks, and evil doers from history all get their due in the short essays featured in these enlightening, informative, books. Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History features eighteen short biographies of nefarious characters, from the pompous and self-righteous Cotton Mather to the swindler Charles Ponzi.

About Valle, Paul Della

Paul Della Valle, father of three and grandfather of two, lives on five acres of an old farm in Sterling, Massachusetts with his wife Karen, Yaz, the world’s greatest dog, and Boots Vanzetti, their anarchist cat. A golf addict, he mows two of the acres so he can practice hitting full wedges.
            Della Valle won dozens of writing and reporting awards in a thirty-year career as a journalist that began even before he graduated from Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1979. In 1996, he founded The Lancaster Times and Clinton Courier, which he published for nine years. He has taught writing at Worcester’s Clark University and journalism at Boston’s Northeastern University.
            He is also a songwriter, and sings and plays guitar with the Worcester County Bluegrass All Stars. In 2009, Globe Pequot Press published his book Massachusetts Troublemakers: Rebels, Reformers, and Radicals from the Bay State. Noted Boston Globe book critic David Mehegan said of Massachusetts Troublemakers, “It's a lively survey of spirited characters … It reminds us how much we need people who yank our collective social beards, people who know they are different and are happy to be.” 
            While researching the life of Horace Mann for that book, Della Valle was motivated to become a public school teacher. He now joyously teaches English to Clinton High School students who inspire him every day.