A breakaway bestseller since its first printing, All Souls takes us deep into Michael Patrick MacDonalds Southie, the proudly insular neighborhood with the highest concentration of white poverty in America The anti busing riots of 1974 forever changed Southie, Bostons working class Irish community, branding it as a violent, racist enclave Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up in Southies Old Colony housing project He describes the way this world within a world felt to the troubled yet keenly gifted observer he was even as a child as if we were protected, as if the whole neighborhood was watching our backs for threats, watching for all the enemies we could never really define.But the threats poverty, drugs, a shadowy gangster world were real MacDonald lost four of his siblings to violence and poverty All Souls is heart breaking testimony to lives lost too early, and the story of how a place so filled with pain could still be the best place in the world.We meet Ma, Michaels mini skirted, accordian playing, usually single mother who cares for her children there are eventually eleven through a combination of high spirits and inspired getting over And there are Michaels older siblings Davey, sweet artist dreamer Kevin, child genius of scam and Frankie, Golden Gloves boxer and neighborhood hero whose lives are high wire acts played out in a world of poverty and pride.But too soon Southie becomes a place controlled by resident gangster Whitey Bulger, later revealed to be an FBI informant even as he ran the drug culture that Southie supposedly never had It was a world primed for the escalation of class violence and then, with deadly and sickening inevitability, of racial violence that swirled around forced busing MacDonald, eight years old when the riots hit, gives an explosive account of the asphalt warfare He tells of feeling part of it all, part of something bigger than Id ever imagined, part of something that was on the national news every night.Within a few years a sequence laid out in All Souls with mesmerizing urgency the neighborhoods collapse is echoed by the MacDonald familys tragedies All but destroyed by grief and by the Southie code that doesnt allow him to feel it, MacDonald gets out His work as a peace activist, first in the all Black neighborhoods of nearby Roxbury, then back to the Southie he cant help but love, is the powerfully redemptive close to a story that will leave readers utterly shaken and changed....
|Title||:||All Souls: A Family Story from Southie|
|Publisher||:||Beacon Press Reprint edition November 1, 2007|
|Number of Pages||:||296 pages|
|File Size||:||561 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
All Souls: A Family Story from Southie Reviews
The book is interesting for its image of Southie as seen through the eyes of a child growing up there.
The true story of growing up in South Boston during the infamous busing riots of the 1970's. But this story is really much more than the busing riots. Yes, there is racism. But this story is really about the culture of corruption that not only kept neighborhoods in grinding poverty but also contributed to the massive amounts of drugs and gun violence. A culture of corruption that kept people in those circumstances.
Oh what a book! I never read anything like it in my life. When I was walking to school back in Minneapolis in the 40's a girlfriend told me about welfare and how a woman could have a lot of children and receive a welfare check to live on. All this would work, she assured me, as long as no man was in sight. She led me to believe she might be seeing this as a viable option for herself. I was horrified. In this book, I saw how in the 70's and 80's this actually worked for some women. Of course in the case of Southie, tragically drugs were added to the curse of alcohol. I hated the vile language, but this story fascinated me, and I kept coming back to it. The accounts of the four brothers who died in the course of the story were horrific, but the story of Stevie toward the end was the saddest and most upsetting of all to me. Here was a young boy who had come up out of this cesspool, fairly miraculously, goes back on a vacation and gets framed by circumstances and inept, corrupt law officials coupled with an ignorant corrupt lawyer. He does get back to his mother and siblings in Colorado eventually, but what horrible scars were inflicted by the treatment he received in the hands of the law enforcement officials. He finally got into some kind of psychological treatment place where they realized that he was innocent and got him released. I don't know anything of anyplace worse than Southie, and I have been among Indian tribes and poor people in South America for almost 50 years. This book should be read by every public official in government high places. One point that was made was that this all took place among white poverty stricken people, not blacks among whom most studies have been done. The author, the ninth child in this family, came out fairly unscathed, got out of Southie although staying in the area, finished college, and eventually went back in to further his research and write this book. I notice in other reviews that some are denying the truth of his story, others are affirming it. I have no way to know, but the whole thing leaves me aghast. If even half is true in these United States of America, someone should be ashamed of themselves.