Rogues and Redeemers: When Politics Was King in Irish Boston

Rogues and Redeemers When Politics Was King in Irish Boston From the bestselling coauthor of Black Mass a behind the scenes portrait of the Irish power brokers who forged and fractured twentieth century Boston Rogues and Redeemers tells the hidden story of Bo

  • Title: Rogues and Redeemers: When Politics Was King in Irish Boston
  • Author: Gerard O'Neill
  • ISBN: 9780307405364
  • Page: 413
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the bestselling coauthor of Black Mass, a behind the scenes portrait of the Irish power brokers who forged and fractured twentieth century Boston Rogues and Redeemers tells the hidden story of Boston politics the cold blooded ward bosses, the smoke filled rooms, the larger than life pols who became national figures Honey Fitz, the crafty stage Irishman and grandfatFrom the bestselling coauthor of Black Mass, a behind the scenes portrait of the Irish power brokers who forged and fractured twentieth century Boston Rogues and Redeemers tells the hidden story of Boston politics the cold blooded ward bosses, the smoke filled rooms, the larger than life pols who became national figures Honey Fitz, the crafty stage Irishman and grandfather to a president the pugilistic Rascal King, Michael Curley the hectored Kevin White who tried to hold the city together during the busing crisis and Ray Flynn, the Southie charmer who was truly the last hurrah for Irish American politics in the city For almost a century, the Irish dominated Boston politics with their own unique, clannish brand of coercion and shaped its future for good and ill Former Boston Globe investigative reporter Gerard O Neill takes the reader through the entire journey from the famine ships arriving in Massachusetts Bay to the wresting of power away from the Brahmins of Beacon Hill to the Title I wars of attrition over housing to the rending of the city over busing to the Boston of today which somehow through it all became a modern, revitalized city, albeit with a growing divide between the haves and have nots Sweeping in its history and intimate in its details, Rogues and Redeemers echoes all the great themes of The Power Broker and Common Ground and should take its place on that esteemed shelf as a classic, definitive epic of a city.

    One thought on “Rogues and Redeemers: When Politics Was King in Irish Boston”

    1. I love the history, the very act of gathering interesting and oft-overlooked information on a group to which my family belonged(hard-nosed South Boston Joneses, driven out by famine and up as a response to prejudice). There were many points where the author's boyish interest in his topic came through- I imagined us sitting over coffee, me listening eagerly to anecdotes that he had stumbled across in research, but that had no place in a work of strictly political writing. That being said, the wri [...]

    2. A lively history of Boston 1840-1990 through its colorful, controversial mayors. O'Neill knows whereof he speaks, having spent his journalistic career on the city's municipal beat. The book is divided into two cultural wars: Yankee-Irish till the 1960's, then, white-black. The common theme is betterment for the poor, finally achieved, so argues the book, by "linkage," the practice of designating corporate taxes to affordable housing and education programs. This may not win you over but O'Neill's [...]

    3. A Good history , much better the further back he is? The closer to the present the more he quietly then vociferously Castiagtes the new new Boston of the 1990's to the present. Rather than one of the most successful cities in America , he castS it as one of the greatest failures. It's a unique and singular vantage point. The green way gets attacked and the north end's reconnection is another sign of failure. Change and development and a modern economy is all bad, no mention of hospitals or colle [...]

    4. An examination of 20th century Boston through portraits of some of its most colorful mayors. Some of the sentences in first half are leadened with cliches or word pictures that fail to enlighten. This is soon remedied and the prose flows easily through the final chapters where the depressing busing wars are covered.

    5. This book is not worth your time. I got about 30 pages in, and all i had learned was that there was a potato famine in Ireland, and when the Irish came to Boston the residents weren't happy. It seems to me that this author wanted to show you his extensive vocabulary, rather than actually give you something good to read.

    6. This was an excellent book that looks at close to a century worth of Boston's Irish mayors and the people behind them. Well researched and well written from a reporter who had a lot of reporting experience and familiarity with Boston. the only mistake I noticed was he referred to Salisbury Beach as a New Hampshire beach when it is in Masachusetts.

    7. I wanted to like this more but the book was dry as dirt. I was surprised that with such a cast of characters there wasn't more of a humanness(?) to the book. Read like a very very looonnnngggg newspaper article

    8. This is a fantastic read all on it's own. The language style is creative and the narrative flows well. If you grew up Irish, or just in Boston, this is a must read. I loved learning the backstory to the events I experienced as a child in the sixties right up until today. Well done, Mr. O'Neill.

    9. Historically interesting but after a while, the "lovable rogue" stories wear thin and the litany of greed, graft, corruption and nepotism at the heart of Boston (Washington? Beijing? Paris? Omaha?) politics is just depressing. I never made it to the end.

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