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The Boston Irish: A Political History Paperback – 2 Apr 1998

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown & Company; New edition edition (2 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316626619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316626613
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,239,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Documented with wit and keen hibernian insight ... They're all here - chowderheads and goo-goos, Honey Fitz and James Michael Himself - all brought to larger-than-leprechaun life by the gifted pen of Professor O'Connor.' - Martin F. Noaln, BOSTON GLOBE

Book Description

* Brings to life the colourful story of Boston's Irish - Honey Fitz, the Kennedy's, James Michael Curley, and other political heroes and scoundrels.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
IN THE COURSE of the late nineteenth century Mr. George Apley, that fictional but quintessential stereotype of the Beacon Hill Brahmin, had just been asked to serve with a new organization called the Save Boston Association. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 May 1998
Format: Hardcover
From their persecution and famine in their homeland, to their struggles at survival in America, this book traces the history of Boston's largest and most vocal inhabitants. O'Connor does a remarkable job in tracing the numerous stuggles the Boston Irish faced, and how it shaped their attitudes today. The book is loaded with anecdotes and tales from of Boston more famous characters: from James Michael Curley to Bill Flynn. The book, by detailing the Irish political machines at the turn of the century, provides us with the mindset that has controlled Boston politics for over a century. Entertaining throughout, it is scary how much about Boston and its politics one can learn.
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By Brian on 7 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Super book. Factual to the core and very well written. It gives you a shoe insight to US political history in Boston and the surrounding area over such an interesting time. A+ work from O'Connor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating and captivating account of the Boston Irish 19 May 1998
By Andrew Abbott (abbotta@bc.edu) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
From their persecution and famine in their homeland, to their struggles at survival in America, this book traces the history of Boston's largest and most vocal inhabitants. O'Connor does a remarkable job in tracing the numerous stuggles the Boston Irish faced, and how it shaped their attitudes today. The book is loaded with anecdotes and tales from of Boston more famous characters: from James Michael Curley to Bill Flynn. The book, by detailing the Irish political machines at the turn of the century, provides us with the mindset that has controlled Boston politics for over a century. Entertaining throughout, it is scary how much about Boston and its politics one can learn.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
An Excellent Book 3 Jun. 2002
By Thomas P. Connolly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I grew up in Boston in the 40's and 50's, Roxbury actually. I left in 1959 when I was 19. I view it as having escaped. The neighborhood was virtually all Irish Catholic.

My parents, while not active in party politics were very politically conscious. Their political philosophy was quite simple. Roosevelt's Democrats walked on water; the Republicans were for the rich and against the poor (we, of course, were poor). To this day, over 43 years after leaving their house, I have a bit of trouble pulling the lever for a Republican candidate.

As I grew older I realized that their philosophy, which was generally shared by all in the neighborhood, created problems such as complacency and corruption. In our neighborhood the Boston police from Station # 9 made no effort to conceal what they were doing while they picked up their payoffs from the many bookie joints along Dudley Street. Whenever the state investigated a corrupt official or the very corrupt Boston Police Dept. my mother would say that it was just the Republicans taking their revenge on good Irish Catholics. Somehow she always knew that these good Irish Catholics went to mass every morning. The corruption and incompetence in front of her made no difference in her thinking.

Professor O'Connor's book helped me understand how my parents came to develop these political attitudes. Much of what he talked about still existed in the Boston Irish neighborhoods while I was growing up. I suspect to some extent it still does. I just finished reading "All Souls: A Family Story From Southie" by Michael Patrick McDonald. This is a very sad story which shows just how much the Irish Catholic's in South Boston have allowed their communities to degrade and allowed themselves to be snowed by their own Irish Catholic politicians.

If you have any interest in Boston political history or Irish American history you will love this book. I'm sure that the history of the Irish in Boston is similar to the Irish in most major US cities.
The almost best kind of history 12 Mar. 2013
By Paul Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
History is people. I have an especial interest in the Boston Irish for the most obvious of reasons, and I'm enjoying O'Connor's account. Beyond enjoyment, I also need some of the early chapters for something I'm working on.

Some of the most fascinating elements of the book to readers will be the birth of the Kennedy dynasty in Boston, and indeed Massachusetts entire. And here it's also set in an even wider context — when the Irish first began coming to the city, as the dregs of its society. It took roughly a hundred years to begin to achieve prominence, then translated into power over the next (20th century).

A second and related area is the interplay of the Irish with their Brahmin rulers, whom they eventually supplanted. The story is told of Henry Cabot Lodge, running for the U.S. Senate in 1952 against a young John F. Kennedy. Lodge asked Joe McCarthy to endorse him. McCarthy, though earning his opprobrium nationally, was still extremely popular with the Boston Irish. But the blue-blooded Lodge would not publicly reach out to him, and McCarthy declined to endorse. JFK won election to the Senate — a political path that eventually led to the White House.
The Boston Irish brought to life! 25 Dec. 2013
By John T Callahan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an Irishman from Boston, I found the book to be very informative and well written. I took Professor O'Connor's
history class at Boston College in 1958 and it was because of him that I have had a lifelong love of the subject.
He had the ability to take a subject that might be drab or dull, and bring it to life! A wonderful teacher, a wonderful
historian, but most of all, a wonderful man!
Fantastic book. I had heard a lecture by the ... 19 Mar. 2015
By skybluepink - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fantastic book. I had heard a lecture by the author years ago. Great permanent the addition to your library. I use it for gifts too. If your heart is in Boston, this is a must. Love it. I do already buy it again !!
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