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Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mob Boss Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 19, 2013


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Frequently Bought Together

Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mob Boss + Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice + Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal
Price for all three: $51.99

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishers; 1st edition (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307986535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307986535
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A comprehensive life and times...a fascinating psychological profile." --The Boston Globe

"Whitey is the definitive word on the whole sordid saga of the Bulger mob. Expertly crafted, beautifully told."  - Dennis Lehane, author of Live by Night

 “Having first uncovered the terrible Bulger story, Gerard O'Neill and Dick Lehr have now brought it full circle - a true circle of hell. Exemplary journalism, high drama, and, for Bulger's victims, an ongoing tragedy: rarely has a book mattered more.”  - James Carroll, author of An American Requiem
 
Black Mass, also by Lehr and O'Neill, was the definitive book on the corrupt relationship of the Boston office of the FBI and the notorious gangster, Whitey Bulger. Whitey will stand right next to it as the most in depth portrayal yet of the life of the man who ruled the South Boston underworld by terror and duplicity. In this ground-breaking, intimately researched work, we learn how he became the person who was feared by so many. Once you start reading, you don't want to put it down."  - Bill Bratton, former Boston and NYPD Police Commissioner and LAPD Police Chief
 
"Lehr and O’Neill have outdone themselves. Whitey isn’t just a chilling biography of a monster—it’s also a vivid portrait of Southie, a blood-spattered history of Boston mob wars, and a searing indictment   of the corrupt FBI agents who literally gave Whitey Bulger a license to kill. Full of new information about Whitey’s prison stint as a young man and his life as an elderly fugitive, this is the definitive account of one of weirdest and most sordid chapters in the history of American crime." – Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers  

“Whitey is a masterpiece of investigative reporting that unravels a tension-filled tale of murder, treachery, and abuse of power.” — Ronald Kessler, author of The Secrets of the FBI and In the President’s Secret Service

“Dennis Lehane and Martin Scorsese: take a seat. Nobody knows the twisted saga of Whitey Bulger and his gang; covered this story of criminal savagery and official corruption with more courage, or tell the tale now with such élan as Gerard O'Neill and Dick Lehr.” – John Farrell, author of Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century

“So much has been written about Whitey Bulger, including by Lehr and O’Neill, but this book is different. It is comprehensive in its scope tracing Bulger’s family, his own journey from Southie, to Europe, from Leavenworth and finally, to the Princess Eugenia Apartment in Santa Monica, California. Lehr and O’Neill have culled material far and wide – transcripts, old prison records, official documents, interviews, books and clippings. But best of all, they’ve woven it all in a narrative that is extraordinary, compelling and impossible to put down.” -- Nancy Gertner (Retired, U.S.District Court Judge) and author of In Defense of Women

About the Author

DICK LEHR is a professor of journalism at Boston University and a former reporter at the Boston Globe, where he won numerous awards and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting. He is the author of The Fence: A Police Cover-up Along Boston's Racial Divide, which was an Edgar Award finalist and a Boston Globe bestseller. He is the co-author of several other books, including the national bestseller and Edgar Award-winning Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal

GERARD O'NEILL has won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism as well as many other national journalism awards. He was the longtime editor of the Boston Globe's award-winning investigative team. He co-authored Black Mass and also, with Lehr, The Underboss, as well as Rogues and Redeemers (Crown 2012), a political history of the Boston Irish focusing on the city's most famous mayors.

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Customer Reviews

The Globe, at the time Whitey Bulger was up to his most severe destruction was in a bind.
Tony
I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to read about the mafia and what it is like to live so good.
Evelyn J. Morales
It the incredible research and fantastic writing by these two authors make this book the one to get.
Nails

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Tony on February 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The authors hit it right on the numbers in this book. They capture a murderous Whitey Bulger, a villainous Bill Bulger and an FBI that was controlled in Boston by mob wannabes who thought ethnically and imprisoned Italian gangsters and let Irish gangsters intimidate, extort, steal, push drugs, run guns and kill with impunity.

I had the good fortune to find this book before it reached mass circulation. It is a long book but I read it in two sittings. Both of the writers are longtime journalists for the Boston Globe. The Globe, at the time Whitey Bulger was up to his most severe destruction was in a bind. On one hand you had writers like Lehr and O'Neill who were writing about the Irish Mob, corruption in general and endangering themselves. On the other hand, columnists like Mike Barnicle, who became a toy of the powerful, were writing favorable press about Whitey Bulger and his brother, Senator William Bulger the head of the Massachusetts Senate and the power behind Whitey's rise. In addition, many political heavyweights from South Boston circled wagons around their favorite mass murderer and against their "liberal" neighbor, the Boston Globe. Barnicle wrote of Whitey as if he were just a good old boy from the old sod who was misunderstood by those who might think murder and drug running were not part of St. Patrick's legacy. I laughed aloud when the writers discovered that these two patron saints of Irish blarney, the Bulgers, were partly of English Protestant heritage.

This is the book to read if you want to know this tragic story. These writers risked their lives to tell us the original story long ago. That is not an exaggeration. They have now completed the story and the turtles won against the corrupt hares. Congratulations to Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nails on February 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tremendous book. The authors of Black Mass (the original bible on the FBI/whitey alliance) have done it again. They don't just rereport the news but rather they connect the dots and take you on a journey from whitey's family immigrating to Boston, whitey's childhood and teenage years, his time in jail, his ascension to the top of Boston's mob, and then on the run for 16 years. They do so much work on trying to get us to understand why whitey turns into who he is - a maniacal controlling psychopathic killer who can charm and outsmart his friends/enemies when need be. The in depth reporting shines through with the stories of whitey's ancestors in new foundland, the teenage gangs of southie, the prison experiences and the LSD experimentation, and the santa monica hideout. I have read a lot about whitey over the years but learned so much more in this book -- I could not put it down. The made for movie story has sort of told itself over the years. It the incredible research and fantastic writing by these two authors make this book the one to get.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Deborah Davis, the lovely, young girlfriend of Steve Flemmi got into her Mercedes convertible and drove to her death. She knew too much and talked too much and James Whitey Bulger wasn't having it. He killed her, had Flemmi pull out her teeth and bury her. There, that was the end of that problem. And, so, Whitey Bulger was protecting his life of crime, murder, greed and mayhem, nothing could touch him, now.

The authors, Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill have followed Whitey, the Boston Mafia, the Winter Hill Gang from the beginning of their careers. This is the third in the trilogy of books where the life of Whitey has been highlighted. This book is the most detailed and gives us a fascinating look into the beginning of the Bulger family, their journey from Ireland to South Boston. Whitey is a name to be reckoned with in Southie, as it is in Boston, and across the US and the world after Whitey made his run and the FBI took a more than ten year look for him.

Along the way we meet the people Whitey invited into his life, his cronies, his men, his family, his women. We learn about his son by an early love. We meet the FBI who became part of Whitey's crew, the State Police who were paid handsomely to protect Whitey. All along Whitey's life there was always someone who stepped up to protect him. He did serve a long prison sentence for armed robbery, but he got out of one mess after the other with relative ease. We also meet up front and personal, the people he killed or had killed, nineteen people, died at the hands of Whitey Bulger. He either planned the deaths or caused the deaths, himself. He had a temper, and Whitey had to learn how to manage it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Alan Blackman on April 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was interesting and informative, but a little dry. The other book on "Whitey" was a much better read in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brad Smith on May 21, 2014
Format: Paperback
The most interesting part of this book - Whitey Bulger's prime as the mob boss of Boston - doesn't kick in for almost 200 pages. Before that, there is a lot of tedious detail about the Bulger family's early years, and Whitey's early criminal life. The section on his long imprisonment, and his LSD experimental time, are both somewhat boring. About halfway in, we finally get to the good stuff. Whitey takes over in South Boston and is aided by his FBI handler, who was really just a corrupt agent who helped Bulger far more than Bulger ever aided the FBI. The final section, on Whitey's capture in Santa Monica, Cal., also very well detailed because it's very recent.
These two Boston Globe authors have been writing about this stuff for decades, and this is supposedly the last word on this topic. It's not as interesting as tales of the Italian Mob in NYC, but it's the story of Boston politics and corruption for most of the 80s and 90s. If you're from Boston, you'll find this fascinating. Everyone else may be a little drowsy when it's finally over..
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