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If Boston is your one and only destination for a New England visit, bring along a copy of ''Historic Walks in Old Boston'' by John Harris (The Globe Pequot Press, Chester, Conn., $9.95) and a pair of comfortable walking shoes. There are forty walks that describe the Boston of an earlier day - the home of John Adams, John Kennedy, Benjamin Franklin, Louisa May Alcott, John Singleton Copley, Henry James, Daniel Webster, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, among many others. There are detailed maps, too.

There is a lot of history retold in this book, and it might be better to read the historical portions at home beforehand.

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