All Souls Analysis

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Michael Patrick MacDonald’s book was fantastic. All Souls was a moving, exciting, and revealing book about the life of an average South Boston family growing up in the white, Irish Catholic Old Colony housing projects. There is a huge focus on the crimes, drugs, and violence that occurred within MacDonald’s neighborhood around the time of the Boston busing riots. MacDonald tells us about his brothers and sisters. Many of whom were victimized by crime, drugs, murder, and suicide. He also goes into detail about his strong willed mother who somehow found a way to raise ten kids, while at the same time dealing with abusive relationships, and living in the neighborhood with the highest concentration of white poverty in America. All Souls has a large focus on Whitey Bulger as well. In the book, it is revealed how Bulger was a big time gangster, FBI informant, and drug lord, who brought about the deaths of hundreds of young people due to murder, suicides, and drug related deaths. Even through all of this tragedy and despair, Michael Patrick MacDonald finds a way to show us how truly proud and loyal he is to be from Southie. Despite suffering first hand from the crimes, heartbreaks, and calamities of Whitey Bulger, Michael still feels that South Boston was the “best place in the world.” He believes that the best elements of Southie outweighed the worst, and is truly happy to have grown up there.

It is great to read about the neighborhoods of South Boston from Macdonald as opposed to other sources. Michael lived through the worst, and is telling the story in a completely honest way. Nothing is used to spice up the story, no exaggerations, and there is nothing Hollywood about it. Unlike movies that try to depict the neighborhood, I feel like I can completely trust the book to show me the real picture of life in South Boston. It is like the book is something from a history book. The facts of the story were incredibly depressing. Michael’s childhood sounds terrible due to...
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