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by Adrienne Petterson 2006

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The Brothers Bulger - How They Terrorized and Corrupted Boston for a Quarter Century
by Howie Carr
Warner Books
ISBN 0-446-57651-4
Published February 2006 - Hardcover - 342 pages - $25.95

These boys were bad from a young age growing up in South Boston in the 30s and 40s.  Like many immigrants, the Irish stuck together, and as kids, they were running with the wrong crowd.  Brothers Billy and Whitey Bulger thought themselves above everyone else.  For example, Billy caused a young boy on a bicycle (they were in a car) to ride to his death in traffic, just because he "didn't like him".  They didn't change once they'd grown up.  Whitey, among other things, frequented gay bars, which at the time were illegal, and was arrested.  There were rape and robbery arrests yet they seemed to get off lightly.  Perhaps this gave them an air of superiority knowing they'd not get into trouble, when in fact, they should have.  Whitey joined the Air Force but didn't last, while Billy joined the Army for two years to get on the GI Bill - he was tired of not having any money. Later, Whitey started robbing banks and he was caught and jailed while Billy weasled his way into politics (with a law degree) and later they began their ascension into organized crime.  Author Carr also writes about the chaos the Irish gangs and the Mafia brought about, as well as the corruption of the FBI, and the random executions of their "targets".  J. Edgar Hoover was notorious for his time as the head of the FBI and he too, was involved.  It sounds much like little boys fighting a deadly game over who plays with whose toys, who's allowed in the gang, and who gets "eliminated" for doing something wrong.  It's so incestuous and members usually had brothers, friends, and other family loosely connected.  Summing up this book, I'd say it was brutal and vicious.
Conclusion - An interesting if not somewhat alarming read.

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