About the book

The well-trod patch of Cambridge turf at the corner of the nation's most renowned university has long been a crossroads where poetry, politics, retailing, architecture, performance, design, and every other cultural endeavor intersect. Harvard Square is more than a beloved space, it is a state of mind. Inside the pages of this book, one is immediately transported there.

From the Square's tweedy 1950s through the tumultuous ’60s, the colorful ’70s, and all the way up to the present, Mo Lotman gives a decade-by-decade account of Harvard Square's traditions, history, and lore. The bookstores, the billiard parlors, the barbershops, the booze and burger joints: they're all here. Compiling interviews with more than 100 of the Square's movers and shakers, a treasure-trove of archival and modern photographs, and texts by John Updike, Bill McKibben, Governor Bill Weld, and others, Harvard Square brings "the smartest urban space in America" to vivid life.


  • 240 pages
  • 60 years of history
  • Over 500 photographs
  • 79 full-page photos
  • 68 subject profiles
  • 114 mini street maps


  • Essays by notables
  • Illustrations
  • Ephemera
  • Visual indices
  • Aerial photos