Boston’s Best Feuds

We’ve been fighters from the start. Boston was founded on a handshake in 1630 when hermit William Blackstone invited the Puritans to live near him. Pretty soon they start arguing over religion; next thing you know, Blackstone gets his house burned down. He leaves town, the Puritans stay. Four centuries on, we’re still prone to a good scrap. Here, our take on the Hub’s 12 greatest brawls. You got a problem with that?

Boston's Best Feuds

Illustration by Joe Ciardiello

Foes or Bros: Friends Who Should be Enemies

Senator John Kerry and Cardinal Sean O’Malley

If the church wants to pick a fight with a Catholic pol, shouldn’t it aim higher than Patrick Kennedy?

Anne Hawley and Jill Medvedow

Medvedow, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art, left her post as Hawley’s lieutenant at the Gardner Museum—then lured deep-pocketed patron Barbara Lee to the ICA. What would Isabella do?

Drew Gilpin Faust and Susan Hockfield
We can see how this one starts: Harvard’s Faust smugly reminds her MIT counterpart that U.S. News & World Report ranked the Crimson number one for colleges last year. Hockfield, a neuroscientist, asks Faust if getting a history degree is as easy as it looks.

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce
Garnett’s “no I in team” philosophy seems destined to collide with Pierce’s “I am the team” swagger.

Steve Pagliuca and Mitt Romney

They bonded in the trenches of union-busting Bain, and can now trade stories about losing out on Teddy’s Senate seat. But how can a Republican like Romney get along so well with this bleeding-heart liberal?

Enemies Who Should be Friends

Whitey Bulger and the FBI
They used to be so close.

Dan Shaughnessy and Curt Schilling
One manufactured the “Curse of the Bambino,” the other broke it; both are happy to tell you all about it.

Charlie Baker and Tim Cahill

Both popular. Both vying to be governor. Neither likely to win if they don’t team up.

Mayor Tom Menino and the English Language

Public speaking is tough—what with all those syllables—but after Menino’s 25 years in office you’d think these two would’ve developed a better relationship.


  • Todd

    Loved the red apple story, but Salinger would have said “It took Stephanie and ME a while to find it.”