Editor's Letter: Powered Up

MAGAZINES LOVE TO RANK THINGS: schools, towns, doctors, lobster rolls — if we can quantify it, we’re going to rank it. But there’s nothing that causes more ripples of anticipation around here than when we tackle power, dissecting it, analyzing it, and, yes, ranking it. Well, we’re at it again in this issue, looking at Boston’s biggest players and dealmakers, from canny politicians to industry barons to status-hungry socialites.

As we began researching this month’s package — making calls, pounding the pavement, digging through financial records — we started hearing from the hangers-on and the PR people. They lobbied us via phone and e-mail, and we even received a few well-timed lunch invitations from people wanting to discuss why they belonged on the list. (Note: If you have to plead your case, you’re probably not very powerful.)

But while it’s fairly easy to assess who truly has power, it’s not always clear how they got it (though it appears that an Ivy League education doesn’t hurt). So, this time around, we also present a series of  “power case studies” to help you join the club, too. We’ve assembled how-to guides for, among other things, snagging a coveted seat on the Wellesley dinner-party circuit, turning your brilliant tech idea into a startup company, and even getting your kid into Harvard.

When it comes to power in town, of course, few institutions rank as high as the Red Sox, and, appropriately enough, you’ll find co-owners John Henry and Tom Werner occupying slot number 18 on our list. That said, for the first time in a long time, things are looking a little shaky over on Yawkey Way. Last year brought us the beer and fried chicken, the collapse, and the departures of both Theo and Tito, and suddenly ’04 and ’07 are feeling like an awful long time ago. All of which is to say that as the Sox kick off a new season this month, they’ve got plenty to prove. How much? We interviewed new manager Bobby Valentine to find out.

As it happens, there’s another reason this is a special season for the Sox. It’s Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary. So we asked historian Richard A. Johnson to dig through dusty books, long-forgotten photo archives, and old sports records to put together the amazing story of the park’s history

That’s our April issue — heavy-hitters of every kind.