Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob

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Steerforth Press, Apr 20, 2010 - History - 256 pages
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The almost unbelievable story of endemic corruption, and the official condoning by the FBI of violent crimes committed by James “Whitey” Bulger and his South Boston Irish mob, entered a new chapter with Bulger’s arrest in California. For decades the FBI let Bulger get away with murder, protecting him from prosecution for crimes it knew he had committed and allowing him continued control of his criminal enterprise in exchange for information about the rival Italian mafia and even members of his own gang. 
     
During the 1980s, Edward J. MacKenzie, Jr., “Eddie Mac,” was a drug dealer and enforcer who would do just about anything for Bulger. In this compelling eyewitness account, the first from a Bulger insider, Eddie Mac delivers the goods on his one-time boss and on such former associates as Stephen ''The Rifleman'' Flemmi and turncoat FBI agent John Connolly. Eddie Mac provides a window onto a world rarely glimpsed by those on the outside.
Street Soldier is also a story of the search for family, for acceptance, for respect, loyalty, and love. Abandoned by his parents at the age of four, MacKenzie became a ward of the state of Massachusetts, suffered physical and sexual abuse in the foster care system, and eventually drifted into a life of crime and Bulger's orbit. The Eddie Mac who emerges in these pages is complex: An enforcer who was also a kick-boxing and Golden Gloves champion; a womanizer who fought for custody of his daughters; a tenth-grade dropout living on the streets who went on, as an adult, to earn a college degree in three years; a man, who lived by the strict code of loyalty to the mob, but set up a sting operation that would net one of the largest hauls of cocaine ever seized. Eddie's is a harsh story, but it tells us something important about the darker corners of our world.

Street Soldier is as disturbing and fascinating as a crime scene, as heart-stopping as a bar fight, and at times as darkly comic as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction or Martin Scorsese’s Good Fellas.

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STREET SOLDIER: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Reluctant reformed criminal Mackenzie delivers a gritty tale of stunted childhood, vicious criminality, and struggle for redemption, all with the Irish flavor of South Boston.Born in 1958, Southie ... Read full review

Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Irish Mob

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Mackenzie breaks his cardinal rule-Thou Shalt Not Rat-in this fascinating and disturbing memoir of a life in crime. Abused and neglected as a child, Mackenzie grew up full of rage and hostility ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

EDWARD J MACKENZIE JR. is a single father raising his two daughters near his hometown of South Boston. 

PHYLLIS KARAS is coauthor of The Onassis Women. A contributor to People magazine and an adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Journalism, she lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts. 

ROSS A. MUSCATO is a strategic communications consultant who lives in the Boston area.

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