All Souls

All Souls

A Family Story From Southie

Book - 2000
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Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up in "the best place in the world"--the Old Colony projects of South Boston--where 85% of the residents collect welfare in an area with the highest concentration of impoverished whites in the U.S. In All Souls, MacDonald takes us deep into the secret heart of Southie. With radiant insight, he opens up a contradictory world, where residents are besieged by gangs and crime but refuse to admit any problems, remaining fiercely loyal to their community. MacDonald also introduces us to the unforgettable people who inhabit this proud neighborhood. We meet his mother, Ma MacDonald, an accordion-playing, spiked-heel-wearing, indomitable mother to all; Whitey Bulger, the lord of Southie, gangster and father figure, protector and punisher; and Michael's beloved siblings, nearly half of whom were lost forever to drugs, murder, or suicide. By turns explosive and touching, All Souls ultimately shares a powerful message of hope, renewal, and redemption.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2000
Edition: 1st Ballantine Books ed
ISBN: 9780345441775
034544177X
Branch Call Number: F73.68.S7 M33 2000bx
Characteristics: 266 p. : ill. ; 21 cm

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Adult. Memoir. MacDonald takes us deep into the secret heart of Southie. With radiant insight, he opens up a contradictory world, where residents are besieged by gangs and crime but refuse to admit any problems, remaining fiercely loyal to their community. MacDonald also introduces us to the unfo... Read More »


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elliottt
Dec 05, 2013

What I appreciate about All Souls is that it doesn't aspire to be an authoritative, exhaustive study of Southie, but rather a very personal and focused description of how it FELT to grow up in that environment. The book isn't loaded down with statistics or many viewpoints-- just MacDonald's recollection of the things his family experienced. His talent as a writer becomes most apparent in the last 50 pages with a story that is so profoundly upsetting that I couldn't put the book down or stop crying. Definitely worth a read.

a
AmyEighttrack
Jun 21, 2012

An incredible, poignant story of the devastation that a family from the white slums of Boston experienced.
*** It's a rare insider's look and perspective. The author talks about how his neighborhood experienced the social-experiment phenomenon of busing - it was not a positive one.
*** He talks about how the mob exploited and manipulated people's perceptions of what was happening to them. Truly evil.

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