All God's Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence

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Vintage Books, 2008 - Social Science - 389 pages
2 Reviews
A timely reissue of Fox Butterfield’s masterpiece, All God’s Children, a searing examination of the caustic cumulative effect of racism and violence over 5 generations of black Americans.

Willie Bosket is a brilliant, violent man who began his criminal career at age five; his slaying of two subway riders at fifteen led to the passage of the first law in the nation allowing teenagers to be tried as adults. Butterfield traces the Bosket family back to their days as South Carolina slaves and documents how Willie is the culmination of generations of neglect, cruelty, discrimination and brutality directed at black Americans. From the terrifying scourge of the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction to the brutal streets of 1970s New York, this is an unforgettable examination of the painful roots of violence and racism in America.
 

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[All God's Children] was a text assigned to me in a university course called "The History of Violence in the United States." While I was completely enthralled by the lectures, at the time I only ... Read full review

All God's children: the Bosket family and the American tradition of violence

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In his early 30s, Willie James Bosket Jr., viewed by many as New York's most violent criminal, is confined in tightly secured isolation in a Catskill prison. New York Times reporter Butterfield ... Read full review

Contents

BLOODY EDGEFIELD
3
MASTERS AND SLAVES
19
AARON After Freedom
35
PUD Dont Step on My Reputation
46
JAMES AND BUTCH Coming Up in the Terry
71
BUTCH The Promised Land
88
BUTCH The Pawnshop
110
WILLIE Bad Little Booby
131
CHApter to WILLIE The Boy No One Could Help
176
WILLIE The BabyFace Killer
204
CHAPTER I2 BUTCH The Prisoner and the Scholar
251
WILLIE Counsel for the Defense
263
BUTCH Free at Last
283
EPILOGUE
325
A NoTE ON SOURCES
332
Acknowled GMENTs
374

WILLIE Little Man
150

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About the author (2008)

Fox Butterfield is the author of China: Alive in the Bitter Sea, which won the National Book Award. He was a mamember of the New York Times reporting team that won the Pulitzer Prize for its publication of the Pentagon Papers, and has served as a correspondant for the newspaper in Boston, Washington, DC, New York, South Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, and China--where he opened the Beijing bureau in 1979. He is currently a national correspondant for the Times, writing about crime and violence. He lives near Boston with his family.

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