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Phillips publishes ‘A Common History’

Carlene Phillips signs books July 5. (Courtesy photo)

Carlene Phillips of Oak Hill Road has published a book titled “A Common History: The Story of Harvard’s Identity.” She has lived in an old house off the Little Common for 46 years, and her three children and their children have grown up in Harvard. Phillips taught high school English for 30 years, and in retirement she has been a board member and president of the Harvard Historical Society. She is also a writer and copy editor for the Harvard Press.

Phillips said she had had the idea for the book for the past 14 years and last year’s pandemic isolation provided the incentive to finally write it. The back cover of the book reads: “I fell in love with Harvard center the first time I saw it. But it wasn’t until I learned about the history of the Common that its beauty deepened for me. As I got to know more about residents of the past, the difficult choices they made, and the natural disasters they endured, the beauty of Harvard’s landscape was intensified by a sense of connection to the people and events that had shaped it. The facts and stories gave me a sense of identity with Harvard’s past and a heightened sense of community. I hope this book helps others to experience what I have.”

To buy the book, contact Phillips at or visit the General Store.

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