- Hardcover: 496 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 11, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393087727
- ISBN-13: 978-0393087727
- Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.6 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 352 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #742,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice 1st Edition
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“If you locked director Martin Scorsese, screenwriter Nick Pileggi and TV producer David Chase in the same room for a month, I doubt they would come up with anything as rich in scope and details as the real-life tale of Whitey Bulger.”
- Jeff Greenfield, Washington Post
“This is the definitive story of Whitey Bulger. As much social documentary as riveting crime story, the book is a masterwork of reporting by Cullen and Murphy. I couldn’t put it down.”
- Michael Connelly, best-selling author of The Black Box
“Whitey committed every crime outside. He lived years in prison and was certain that prison was preferable to the risks and disgrace in his life of South Boston. This book is easily the best story about crime I’ve read.”
- Jimmy Breslin, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author of The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight and The Good Rat
“This is the Whitey Bulger book by the two expert journalists who know the turf best. An unflinching look at the culture of silence and death fostered by Bulger―and by his friends in high and low places―and an important affirmation for young people growing up in today’s neighborhoods of good people besieged by thuggery, corruption, and codes of silence.”
- Michael Patrick MacDonald, best-selling author of All Souls: A Family Story from Southie
“Whitey Bulger... is as much a social history as a biography or manhunt thriller.... In the same way that J. Anthony Lukas’s Common Ground is essential to understanding Boston’s racial history, Whitey Bulger is an authoritative treatise on the city’s late-20th-century underworld.”
- Sean Flynn, Boston Globe
“Solid writing, remarkable details and the addition of Bulger’s fairly recent capture make this a worthy addition to the literature of the mob.”
- Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Kevin Cullen, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has written for the Boston Globe since 1985, was the first to raise questions about Whitey Bulger's relationship with the FBI. A frequent commentator on NPR and the BBC, Cullen has won major journalism prizes including the Goldsmith Prize, the George Polk Award, and the Selden Ring Award.
Shelley Murphy has covered Whitey Bulger and organized crime in Boston since 1985, beginning at the Boston Herald and moving to the Globe in 1993. She has won a George Polk Award for National Reporting.
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Top customer reviews
Both worked on the GLOBE's "Spotlight" Team which first exposed Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant and the FBI's disgustingly corrupt relationship with him. How heady the feeling of unleashing those two stories to the world. Both readily admit that legions of GLOBE colleagues, editors, prosecutors, photographers, the Boston Herald, numerous local TV and talk radio reporters all added to the story they wrote. They also acknowledge the Judges and victims families in covering this oh so sordid story of Whitey et al before they were brought down, running and finally captured.
As I read the book, I was overwhelmed by how easy it was for Whitey and his cohorts to collect protection money, run guns for the IRA, tax South Boston's drug trade and murder-whether for hire or for the cost of doing business.
I was more disgusted at FBI agent (& Bulger and Flemmi handler) John Connally and his superior than in the criminals themselves . We EXPECT the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover to be unflinching in it's pursuit of justice and destruction of corruption. In Bulger's case, the price of justice came in thick envelopes, cases of expensive wines and a quasi membership to Whitey world. We also expect the Bulger's and Flemmi's to do anything to avoid prosecution. American's are shocked when the G-men are giving the bad guys names of their enemies, removing their informants from Grand Jury investigations and tipping them off after a secret GJ indicts and they must get out of town.
WHITEY BULGER is a compilation of thousands of hours of work by many dedicated people. It's a fascinating read and I highly recommend it to people who have been fascinated by Whitey's life on the run and the legal fallout for Connally, true crime readers and any one who likes a fantastic crime story. 5 STARS
Crooked FBI higher-ups, grisly murders, silent and not-so-silent mistresses, and surprising political connections abound in the telling of this story as well as paranoia, narcissism, sociopathic behavior, delusions, and rationalizations. It is as psychologically complex and compelling as The Sopranos and as deliciously devious as any Shakespearian drama. The only difference is that the corruption, criminality, blood-feuds, brutality, and dizzyingly evil conduct really happened, complete with sumptuous Italian meals or naps afterward. In Whitey’s world, the absurd truth was just as strange as any fiction.
There are some surprising disclosures in the book too: the firebombing of JFK’s birthplace, a relatively easy stint in Alcatraz , shenanigans involving Northeast jai-alai emporiums, gun-running for the Provisional Irish Republican Army, ramping up the violence surrounding school busing in Southie, the Congressional Speaker of the House influencing the Bureau of Prisons, secret and unscrupulous CIA mind-control experiments using LSD on prisoners, and paranoia as a result of the death of Osama bin Laden—all are featured in the narrative about Whitey’s rise to infamy and his eventual capture and incarceration.
In spite of all the real-life villains on the hideous dark side in this tale, there are heroes here as well—most notably those brave souls of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Boston Police, US Marshals Service, and the Massachusetts State Police, in particular Tom Foley of that organization, who would not be intimidated by Whitey or the FBI. They eventually succeeded in capturing Whitey and in putting away some of the players with help of Judge Mark Wolf when indictments were handed down and trials begun. However, the book rightfully indicts the culture that produced and nurtured the likes of Whitey Bulger and his corrupt stooges at the FBI all those years. As an example of that distorted culture, the authors point to Bill Bulger, Whitey’s extraordinarily successful politician and university president brother, who paid the price for not helping in Whitey’s capture: “Loyalty to Whitey…. cost Bill Bulger his job and, in the eyes of many, his good name. It was an outsize price to pay for a principle—family above all, including the law.”
The book poignantly describes another loss, the loss of an innocent, decent man, Michael Donahue, who was one of Whitey’s murder victims: “Over the years, whenever Michael Jr. or Shawn or Tommy [Michael’s orphaned children] bumped into childhood friends, their father’s death inevitably came up in the conversation, and the consensus was that the fond memories of their childhoods ended when Whitey Bulger murdered Michael Donahue on the waterfront. ‘Whitey didn’t just kill my father,’ Tommy Donahue said. ‘He killed a neighborhood.’ ” In an ironic and cruel twist, the Department of Justice, saddled with the responsibility of dealing with the civil lawsuits resulting from Whitey’s murders, stonewalled those suits, fighting them in court tooth and nail, even though in the criminal trial of corrupt FBI agent John Connelly, the DOJ prosecuted him and trumpeted his guilt concerning those murders. For the government, represented by the DOJ, it was all about the potential civil suit money settlements and legal precedents for the government, and not about decency and justice for the families. The DOJ lawyers used reprehensible tactics to win those suits at all cost. You will be appalled at these lawyers’ “end justifies the means” strategies in court.
Finally, the authors have done a tremendous job of getting at the facts, sifting through the myriad myths surrounding Whitey and his cohorts and enablers in and out of law enforcement, such as the popular, fictitious beliefs that Whitey was some kind of Robin Hood or wasn’t involved in the drug trade. That alone is praiseworthy. The story also moves lightning fast due to the crisp yet descriptive writing of the authors. There is no lag at all throughout, only one incredible detail after another. You will be up late at night reading this book. Trust me, you will.