[Download Best] All Souls: A Family Story from SouthieAuthor Michael Patrick MacDonald – Biorganicenergy.co

It actually took me quite awhile to finish this book Not because it was bad, but because the stark reality of it was something that I found so emotional that I found myself feeling a bit lost He wrote so emotionally about his family, giving the reader a glimpse into a world that most of us have could never imagine But I found that I was relating my own life to those events that Mr MacDonald experienced I remember the busing problems in South Boston and the evolution of our generation The f It actually took me quite awhile to finish this book Not because it was bad, but because the stark reality of it was something that I found so emotional that I found myself feeling a bit lost He wrote so emotionally about his family, giving the reader a glimpse into a world that most of us have could never imagine But I found that I was relating my own life to those events that Mr MacDonald experienced I remember the busing problems in South Boston and the evolution of our generation The first book I ever labeled a keeper was S.E Hinton s The Outsiders All Souls is going on my keeper shelf for the same reasons Any book that can elicit that kind of emotion long after I ve closed the book deserves that distinction And my hat goes off to him for writing a book so honest This book was a strange roller coaster The first chapter had me riveted, then I slogged through subsequent chapters like a kid taking bitter medicine I knew it was good for me but my soul felt like it had cramps I learned a ton from this book about the complexities of the Southie identity, and the history of the busing movement in Boston, and the book s ending was fascinating and redeeming I cannot imagine having such a story to tell, and I appreciate that it has been told However, having This book was a strange roller coaster The first chapter had me riveted, then I slogged through subsequent chapters like a kid taking bitter medicine I knew it was good for me but my soul felt like it had cramps I learned a ton from this book about the complexities of the Southie identity, and the history of the busing movement in Boston, and the book s ending was fascinating and redeeming I cannot imagine having such a story to tell, and I appreciate that it has been told However, having recently read Geoffrey Canada s memoir on violence growing up in New York, I found MacDonald s memoir comparatively vapid, often expressing unexamined nostalgia for what were clearly challenging times both for him and for the neighborhood he profiles He describes bitter racial tension with the wide eyed innocence of the child he was when busing began in Boston Consistently referring to violent riots to prevent black kids from entering Southie schools as fun events may make sense in the context of a kid s experience, but in a memoir I wantedreflection on how this is in fact deeply problematic and disturbing as a variety of community bonding MacDonald has done great work to improve the lives of people of all races in a plethora of Boston neighborhoods, but he rarely brought any of this experience to the table as he wrote about his early days in Southie My frustration with the author both his writing ok, it s a memoir, maybe not intended to be a work of Art and his portrayal of complicated issues as relatively simple mounted as the chapters wore on, and it wasn t until the trial of his younger brother that I started feeling the intense empathy for him and his neighborhood that I had started with at the beginning of the book I d say read it, it s good for you But be forewarned that it is not terribly well crafted or executed, even though some of the stories he tells are fascinating I initially read this book when it came out, probably 10 years ago After seeing the film Black Mass, I decided to listen to the audiobook The book is very effectively narrated by the author To hear this story in his voice, his soft Southie accent an accent which is not always gentle , he tells the story of his family who survived although several of his siblings did not living in one of Southie s most notorious housing projects, Old Colony This was a place that ambulances and fire trucks I initially read this book when it came out, probably 10 years ago After seeing the film Black Mass, I decided to listen to the audiobook The book is very effectively narrated by the author To hear this story in his voice, his soft Southie accent an accent which is not always gentle , he tells the story of his family who survived although several of his siblings did not living in one of Southie s most notorious housing projects, Old Colony This was a place that ambulances and fire trucks often refused to enter MacDonald s mother, Helen, a first generation Irish American, is a heroine, not only to her children, but her neighborhood MacDonald tells the story of poor urban whites, in a way that is never represented Through his eyes, we see how residents got caught up in anti busing violence, which was as much and for some maybeabout resisting lose of control over their neighborhood and choices, as it was about race In Boston, often children who could have attended nearby schools that were integrated such as the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain where I lived were arbitrarily bused across the city As a supporter of school integration, I saw this as a deliberate strategy to undermine school integration MacDonald became a champion of ending gun violence and interracial cooperation This is a must read for anyone interested in urban populations, education, and many other issues a sad, yet engrossing, memoir of a guy who grew up in southie the poor irish neighborhood in south boston during the busing riots of the 1970 s i ve lived in the boston area for most of the past 6 1 2 years, but i really didn t know much about southie other than that it was poor, white, and not the best place to be after dark one of the things i loved about this book was that it showed the community that exists behind and beyond that stereotype.what this book really showed me was how a well a sad, yet engrossing, memoir of a guy who grew up in southie the poor irish neighborhood in south boston during the busing riots of the 1970 s i ve lived in the boston area for most of the past 6 1 2 years, but i really didn t know much about southie other than that it was poor, white, and not the best place to be after dark one of the things i loved about this book was that it showed the community that exists behind and beyond that stereotype.what this book really showed me was how a well meaning liberal project, integrating the white southie school and the black roxbury school, helped destroy most of a generation of kids growing up in that neighborhood the interracial violence led the kids to drop out of school and turn to drugs and crime for money and entertainment macdonald s mother, and others, with no real racist feelings, fought violently against busing because it hurt her children and community there were some who hated busing because they were racist, but to so many it was about being a social experiment that was doomed to fail.macdonald lost four brothers to a combination of drugs, crime, mental illness, and inadequate medical care his mother ended up moving to colorado to save her youngest boys from the same fate, and still ended up fighting to keep one out of jail after a visit back to the neighborhood yet the most amazing thing about the story is the fact that he is back in the neighborhood, living there and working throughout boston as a community activist combating violence and drugs This book completely blew me away I rarely give anything 5 stars but there was no question in this case This is the true story of a poor white Irish American family living in the projects in Southie The writer was the 9th of 11 children and came of age during the seventies, right in the middle of busing and forced integration of housing projects His story is unquestionably the most frightening story of urban poverty I ve ever read, only in part because it s a true story The fear this family This book completely blew me away I rarely give anything 5 stars but there was no question in this case This is the true story of a poor white Irish American family living in the projects in Southie The writer was the 9th of 11 children and came of age during the seventies, right in the middle of busing and forced integration of housing projects His story is unquestionably the most frightening story of urban poverty I ve ever read, only in part because it s a true story The fear this family lived with every day are almost beyond comprehension children dying on a regular basis, gang activity, gun violence in the streets, and muchThough I ve lived in Boston since 1998, Southie is probably the neighborhood I know the least But the history the racial tensions during busing, Whitey Bulger as unofficial mayor of Southie still influences much of Boston today in ways that felt familiar The details of the story filled in a lot of historical gaps for me that really helped me understand my adopted hometown much better.McDonald s writing style is clean and straightforward, and his story needs no embellishment Though he did have family members involved with drugs, violence, and crime, he so clearly lays out the paths that led his brothers down these roads that it s almost impossible to imagine how they could have made different choices And his mother s incredible strength and commitment to protecting her children in the face of some of the worst situations a mother can imagine is breathtaking As a parent, I can only hope I would be as strong and steady for my children in the face of similar threats.I m having nightmares about some of the stories he told, but I couldn t put it down I m still wishing it wasn t over This book made me realize that one of the reasons I like memoirs so much is that I enjoy reading about other people s lives and then being judgmental about all the things they are doing wrong On the plus side, I liked the personal view on what was going on in urban Boston in the 1970s, especially the personal accounts of the busing riots I vaguely remember when that was in the news, and I was too young to quite get what it was all about The author is passionate about the neighborhood where This book made me realize that one of the reasons I like memoirs so much is that I enjoy reading about other people s lives and then being judgmental about all the things they are doing wrong On the plus side, I liked the personal view on what was going on in urban Boston in the 1970s, especially the personal accounts of the busing riots I vaguely remember when that was in the news, and I was too young to quite get what it was all about The author is passionate about the neighborhood where he grew up in predominantly white, Irish, South Boston and he wants to fix what s wrong with it, but in the book he s not very clear about what he is proposing that would improve things I was also suffering from a low grade embarrassment through most of the book, as he is very detailed about all the ways his mother was so wonderful, and I couldn t tell if he realized his mother was a terrible parent I realize that all parents, to some extent, are a mix I mean I wouldn t presume to tell him his mother was a terrible parent if he was writing a book about his very excellent mother, BUT I think he was writing a book about what was wrong, sociologically, with the larger neighborhood environment, and it seemed obvious to me but not to him that his mother exemplified a lot of the negative behaviors that contributed to the problems.Grade BRecommended Probably only if you have a particular interest in Boston history or urban housing issues, but if you DO, then it s a good read If you are a person that lives in an area like Jamaica plain, Southie, Dorchester or hyde park, this is a good book for you to read This book is about how life was around those places a while ago At first when you look at the books cover, you will think you will not like it because it as pictures of little kids and you might think its about the life of some little kids But once you read it, you will like it because its about how life was in those places before before and if you lie reading If you are a person that lives in an area like Jamaica plain, Southie, Dorchester or hyde park, this is a good book for you to read This book is about how life was around those places a while ago At first when you look at the books cover, you will think you will not like it because it as pictures of little kids and you might think its about the life of some little kids But once you read it, you will like it because its about how life was in those places before before and if you lie reading books youo could connect your self to, you wil like it evenAt that time you could have died just by walking down the street Thats just horrifying this book shares a powerful message of hope, renewal, and redemption By reading this book you will learn a lot from it so i think everyone should try to read it if they want Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up in the best place in the world the Irish American Old Colony projects of South Boston where % of the residents collect welfare in an area with the highest concentration of impoverished whites in the US 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 suicideMacDonald s story is ultimately one of overcoming the racist, classist ideology he was born into It s also a searing portrayal of life in a poor, white neighborhood plagued by violence and crime and deeply in denial about it A very gripping and powerful memoir about MacDonald s experiences growing up in the Southie neighborhood of Boston in the 1970 s The neighborhood was one of the poorest in the nation and was the home of the Irish Mob and the school bussing riots Definitely an eye opener I was born and raised in New England and I have heard at one point that Southie is pretty tough, but I never really cared enough to think about it It was usually mentioned by guys that bragged about being from that area and I just don t find violence impressive I think it is great that Michael MacDonald overcame so many obstacles to have found a positive role in such an ugly place He s well educated and an activist for safety in Boston suburbs While I m all about anti violence I think people I was born and raised in New England and I have heard at one point that Southie is pretty tough, but I never really cared enough to think about it It was usually mentioned by guys that bragged about being from that area and I just don t find violence impressive I think it is great that Michael MacDonald overcame so many obstacles to have found a positive role in such an ugly place He s well educated and an activist for safety in Boston suburbs While I m all about anti violence I think people seem to miss the bigger picture when it comes to guns Programs for people to relinquish possession of their weapons is not going to solve anything We as citizens have the right to own firearms The example given in the book related to gun violence was Tommy Viens A teenaged boy was playing with a gun and accidentally shot himself There are rarely parents around in situations like these These kids grew up in a neighborhood where they didn t snitch on anyone, had their actions dictated by the Mafia of Whitey Bulger, and basically raised themselves In the entirety of this book I couldn t find an instance where there was a completely reliable adult present At all Especially out of all the parents Michael seemed to be the only one who had maintained situational awareness and caught on to what was really going on I also disagreed with other readers about what a good parent Helen King was There were so many references in the story that made her out to be a completely shallow bimbo who believed her kids should raise each other Her character infuriated me She had two teenaged children that had already dropped out of school, younger kids that were abusing drugs with their friends in the apartment they all lived in and she was nowhere to be found.Later on she lost three of her older children to suicide and violence Helen King was so street smart, she wouldn t take no for an answer, and she stood up for her convictions, yet she couldn t get her kids out of Southie, such a dangerous and scary place, long before her youngest child became a teenager Before another one of her children was murdered Why, when she couldn t afford to feed or clothe her children, was she continuing to get pregnant Her children were walking on the mattresses that they slept on thrown all over a floor, walking in to find their mother beating up a new boyfriend in self defense Their apartment was infested with cockroaches, they didn t always have food, and she still wouldn t get a job.I read this book for the political and social issues that South Boston experienced in the 60 s and 70 s the forced busing, racism, and the Mafia ties Instead I got one of the saddest, but not uncommon, stories I ve read in a long time A story about a bunch of children who needed guidance, support, love, and attention and clearly got the short end of the stick I understand what poverty is, but I also know what people will do to avoid situations that these poor kids were exposed to If Helen King puteffort into raising her children and looking at her situation logically, instead of focusing on her appearance, boyfriends, or her popularity among her peers then maybe her kids might have had a fighting chance at better lives