Many people don’t know that the birth of the nation’s subway systems was, in fact, prompted by snow. It was the Great Blizzard of 1888 that forced city officials to think for the first time about trying to put transportation systems underground. And both New York and Boston both set out to be the first in the nation to make it happen. 

That battle is the subject of author and Boston Globe Deputy Managing Editor Doug Most's book "The Race Underground," now out in paperback.