Rogues and Redeemers by Gerard O'neill
When Politics Was King in Irish Boston

64%

5 Critic Reviews

 Mr. O'Neill doesn't inspire confidence by faithfully accepting NINA (No Irish Need Apply) as fact.
-Wall Street Journal

Synopsis

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 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.
 

About Gerard O'neill

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GERARD O'NEILL was editor of the Boston Globe's investigative team for 25 years before retiring to teach graduate courses in journalism at Boston University. With Dick Lehr, he coauthored The Underboss in 1989 and Black Mass in 2000. Black Mass was a New York Times bestseller and number one on the Globe's bestseller list for a year. He has won several regional and national reporting awards over several decades, including the Pulitzer; the Associated Press Managing Editors Award in 1977 and 1998; the Loeb Awards for business reporting in 1991; and was a Pulitzer finalist in 1997. He holds a master's in journalism from Boston University and lives in Back Bay with his wife, Janet. He has two sons.
 
Published March 13, 2012 by Crown. 416 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Rogues and Redeemers
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

Publishers Weekly

Below average
Jan 09 2012

The narrative is most dynamic when O’Neill expands the discussion to include the social, economic, and national context, but he too often relies on name-checking and score-keeping—a game that will please political junkies, but be lost on novices.

Read Full Review of Rogues and Redeemers : When P... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Wall Street Journal

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Moynihan on Mar 15 2012

 Mr. O'Neill doesn't inspire confidence by faithfully accepting NINA (No Irish Need Apply) as fact.

Read Full Review of Rogues and Redeemers : When P... | See more reviews from Wall Street Journal

Boston.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Thomas O'Connor on Mar 11 2012

For younger readers, particularly those new to the Boston scene, O’Neill’s exciting prose cannot help but arouse their interest in political figures and dramatic episodes of which they have but a vague understanding.

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NJ.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Tom Deignan on Mar 11 2012

O’Neill’s strongest sections are those on mayor/governor/prisoner and rapscallion James Michael Curley.

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Kirkus Reviews

Good
on Feb 13 2012

A gritty, down-and-dirty saga about the Irish politicos who “ruled Boston for nearly a century,” from 1902 to 1993. A splendidly detailed great American epic.

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Tara Leigh

Tara Leigh 5 Sep 2013

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