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Thomas Handasyd Perkins was one of the most successful and eminent of the China Trade merchants. His ships carried tea, cloth, and china to the United States, coffee and sugar to Europe, and furs and opium to China. This engaging biography tells the story of Perkins’ life as a leading citizen of Boston, a merchant philanthropist who lived in great splendor and contributed to the development of Boston’s cultural and civic institutions—the Athenaeum, the Bunker Hill Monument, the Perkins School for the Blind. Perkins’ family connections linked him closely to the movers of the city—Cabots, Forbses, Higginsons, Cushings, Eliots, and Carys. His story involves nearly a hundred years of Boston’s history, the period of the city’s commercial leadership. Railroads, iron manufacture, and the granite industry were other Perkins ventures, and they are all covered here in fascinating detail. The authors, who have followed an old Boston tradition by combining the talents and viewpoints of writer and businessman, make use of a large number of family papers uncovered during their research. The result is a well-documented and entertaining biography that will be of value to laymen interested in New England and business history.