Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice

Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice

4.6 65
by Kevin Cullen, Shelley Murphy
     
 

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"This is the definitive story of Whitey Bulger…a masterwork of reporting." —Michael Connelly, best-selling author of The Black Box

A New York Times Bestseller
A #1 Boston Globe Bestseller

An instant classic, this unforgettable narrative, rich with family ties and intrigue, follows the astonishing career of a

Overview

"This is the definitive story of Whitey Bulger…a masterwork of reporting." —Michael Connelly, best-selling author of The Black Box

A New York Times Bestseller
A #1 Boston Globe Bestseller

An instant classic, this unforgettable narrative, rich with family ties and intrigue, follows the astonishing career of a gangster whose life was more sensational than fiction. Cullen and Murphy have broken more Bulger stories than anyone, and Whitey Bulger became front-page news, revealing the mobster's secret letters written from Plymouth Jail after the sixteen-year manhunt that led to his capture and offering unparalleled insight into his contradictions and complex personality. The afterword covering the results of the dramatic and emotional trial provides a riveting denouement to this "eminently fair and thorough telling of a life, which makes it all the more damning" (Boston Globe).

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - Jeff Greenfield
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.
Boston Globe - Sean Flynn
“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.”
Los Angeles Times - David Ulin
“[A]n authoritative study of the legendary criminal and the long manhunt that culminated in Santa Monica in 2011…. Whitey Bulger is a portrait of its subject in all his complexity: devoted son and brother, vicious killer, neighborhood folk hero, anti-integration activist…. It's a terrific book—comprehensive, deeply reported, invested with an understanding of place and character, and the subtle, at times pernicious, ways they interact. This is hardly surprising; the authors, Polk Award-winning Boston Globe reporters (Cullen also has a Pulitzer), have been on the Bulger trail for nearly 30 years. Their expertise infuses Whitey Bulger with authority, a depth and an engagement that makes it less a work of true crime than a social history.”
Los Angeles Times - David L. Ulin
“[A]n authoritative study of the legendary criminal and the long manhunt that culminated in Santa Monica in 2011…. Whitey Bulger is a portrait of its subject in all his complexity: devoted son and brother, vicious killer, neighborhood folk hero, anti-integration activist…. It's a terrific book—comprehensive, deeply reported, invested with an understanding of place and character, and the subtle, at times pernicious, ways they interact. This is hardly surprising; the authors, Polk Award-winning Boston Globe reporters (Cullen also has a Pulitzer), have been on the Bulger trail for nearly 30 years. Their expertise infuses Whitey Bulger with authority, a depth and an engagement that makes it less a work of true crime than a social history.”
David L. Ulin - Los Angeles Times
“[A]n authoritative study of the legendary criminal and the long manhunt that culminated in Santa Monica in 2011…. Whitey Bulger is a portrait of its subject in all his complexity: devoted son and brother, vicious killer, neighborhood folk hero, anti-integration activist…. It's a terrific book—comprehensive, deeply reported, invested with an understanding of place and character, and the subtle, at times pernicious, ways they interact. This is hardly surprising; the authors, Polk Award-winning Boston Globe reporters (Cullen also has a Pulitzer), have been on the Bulger trail for nearly 30 years. Their expertise infuses Whitey Bulger with authority, a depth and an engagement that makes it less a work of true crime than a social history.”
Jeff Greenfield - Washington Post
“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.”
David Ulin - Los Angeles Times
“A terrific book…A portrait of its subject in all his complexity.”
The Economist
“Riveting.”
Peter King - SportsIllustrated.com
“I have a very strong recommendation if you like real crime stories, or very well-told biographies—or if you like both, which I happen to. If you have not read Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice…get it now. You'll thank me. It's riveting, graphic and a great tale of real life in South Boston, one of the most compelling neighborhoods in American history.”
Michael Connelly
“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.”
Jimmy Breslin
“Easily the best story about crime I've read.”
Michael Patrick MacDonald
“This is the Whitey Bulger book by the two expert journalists who know the turf best.”
Sean Flynn - Boston Globe
“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.”
Dave Davies - NPR's Fresh Air
“A great read…So many terrific, amazing stories.”
Library Journal
Cullen and Murphy have made careers of covering Whitey Bulger for the Boston Globe. This sweeping biography—which includes coverage of his 16 years on the lam and his capture in 2011—is an excellent prelude to Bulger's upcoming trial. The scandalous story of the Irish American Winter Hill gang leader is familiar to many. Bulger was an informant for the FBI tasked with helping bring down the Boston mafia. His brother Bill served as Massachusetts State Senate president for several years before becoming president of the University of Massachusetts. (Bill Bulger was forced to resign when news came out that he'd been in contact with Whitey while Whitey was in hiding.) Bulger was given such free rein from his FBI handler, John Connelly (now serving 40 years for murder), that he saw himself as Connelly's partner. Not just the story of Bulger, this is a cautionary tale for how not to work with an informant; the FBI's mishandling seemingly made it easier for Bulger to stay free for so long. VERDICT Highly recommended. Should be very popular.—Karen Sandlin Silverman, Dresden, ME
Kirkus Reviews
A well-researched book claiming to be "the first complete and authoritative account" of the life of criminal James "Whitey" Bulger. From his Boston childhood to his current home in a prison cell, Boston Globe reporters Cullen and Murphy follow their subject through every documented moment in his life. Bulger is a true "Southie" character, his name well-known to residents of the mostly Irish neighborhood before gentrification. After starting as a petty juvenile criminal, he moved quickly to auto theft and then bank robbery, landing himself in prison. Bulger even did a stint in Alcatraz before earning enough good-behavior time to end his sentence more than a decade early. When he returned to Boston, the criminal underworld was ripe for the picking; rather than going straight, he went to the top of what some called the Irish mob--with the support of the FBI. The authors can't quite decide if they want to let the story become personal. They work hard to refer to themselves in the third person but make it clear what they think of their subject and his accomplices. Maintaining distance was a mistake, as personalizing their involvement could make the book stronger, with more palpable tension and the consequences of attracting Bulger's attention more real. Still, Bulger's crimes and partnerships are so compelling that the pages almost turn themselves. Moments of insight into his mind make the book sparkle--e.g., the scene when he's finally caught and refuses to kneel. The authors explain, "Whitey's biggest concern, he later said, was that there were oil stains on the garage floor where he was standing." Solid writing, remarkable details and the addition of Bulger's fairly recent capture make this a worthy addition to the literature of the mob.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393240917
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/11/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
94,852
File size:
9 MB

Meet 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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Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
ARTLIST More than 1 year ago
Exceptional book, great for mafia lovers. This book is better than the movie Goodfellas (based on Henry Hill's life from book Wiseguy), this book is better than fictional book The Firm (by John Grisham about law firm owned by mob), this book is better than the nonfiction book Gaspipe about true life gangster Anthony Casso (who is currently in SUPERMAX prison). This is an incredible nonfiction, TRUE LIFE book about America's most ruthless gangster, great -- amazing nonfiction -- TRUE life book on american mafia, gangster Whitey Buldger. Superb, exception nonfiction book, superb writing.
Mesuyen More than 1 year ago
Truth is stranger than fiction! I am from Boston and reading the book confirmed all the stories that were told to me via friends and family about Whitey. It was presented with great thought and truthfulness. I have read most of the other tell-all books about Whitey, but this book gives you the facts and was not written by a gangster! Job well done!
ReformedSmoker More than 1 year ago
Interesting read on a controversial topic. What none of these books touch on is the extent to which some individuals not known to the public were blacklisted when Bulger fled for reasons apparently known only to the federal government. One individual was orphaned in the 1960s and when Bulger became a fugitive in 1995 that person's whole life changed for the worst. The man had his phones tapped and calling circles and more implemented. A woman with ties to escort services and the accounting firm of Kennedy,Lehane and Leonard as well as Rocco Solimeno's business partner (of the Caravan Club in Revere,Mass.) began wreaking emotional and other sabotage on the man's life. This woman hailed from a family who had a 'family psychiatrist' who happened to be a forensic psychiatrist and which psychiatrist tried to have the man wrongfully committed. Events of the time were forwarded to Cornelius Leonard and Bill Strader of the Dept. of Justice. Rocco Solimeno's business partner had ties to FBI agent Connelly through in-law connections at Boston Edison. Every effort was made to discredit the man and to portray him as mentally ill. The man's medical records at Tufts from the 1970s disappeared. It appears that the FBI agents in Masschusetts went on the rampage when Bulger escaped.
UCONNWOMEN More than 1 year ago
Better than the Sopranos, Goodfellas, or any other mafia screen animated. A very well researched, written, captivating nonfiction book, look into the world of the mafia through the eyes of USAs most notorious gangster Whitey Bulger. A must read for any Soprano lover, if you liked the movie Goodfellas--then you will love this book! Exceptional, 5 star book.
nycityeast More than 1 year ago
This is the KING of all mafia, true crime books. Both authors are excellent at their craft, providing excellent research, brand new perspective on life inside mafia, east coast-USA crime world. Hope they make a movie out of this book, however the book would still be better! Best book I have read in ten years.
CraigGrand More than 1 year ago
Dateline NBC, 20/20 ABC, 48 Hours CBS, Pierce Morgan CNN, they should all do an hour long show with these authors, but the book is better. Everyone who loves those kind of shows would love this book, very fun-entertaining crime-saga. Whitey Bulger has been apart of organized crime world for last half century in America, his involment in crime in unrivaled in US History. Likely the most intense crime book, nonfiction content on the subject of the mafia I have ever read, it is brutally honest portrait of what life as an American gangster is really like. 5star book, two thumbs up, excellent organized-crime book, better than anything available.
BRISEA More than 1 year ago
#1 true crime book ever written. Very well researched, crafted, well written. This book is written by Earth's most renowned crime authors, about Earths most notorious gangster since Al Capone. Very well written book, entertaining, fun to read, a must have for any true crime book lover. Nonfiction book about Whitey Buldger, his escapades, life on the run, eventual caputre. Learned a lot of information on American society, criminal justice by reading this book. Author(s) did an incredible job of tackling this topic of Whitey Buldger. Great book, highly recommend it to anyone, money well spent!
TomMillerVailResorts More than 1 year ago
America's most wanted used to air the wanted programs on Whitey Bulger before he was caught, so I was eager to read this book to learn how they were able to catch him. This book is a great biography on Whitey Bulger, his life in America's organized crime circuit, packed full of useful information. A must have for anyone interested in criminal justic topice, mafia, etcetera.
DOOR0 More than 1 year ago
Whitey Bulger, by Shelley Murphy (author), Kevin Cullen (author) is an exceptional true life account of the mob in America. Exceptional book.
Curtislight More than 1 year ago
Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven could not have created a better melody for the brain. Very mind consuming, relaxing, took my mind to an amazing place about crime in America.
Kittio More than 1 year ago
Really well written story about the thirty year reign of Whitey Bulger. A complex view of the man, his motivations and his weaknesses. It dispels the "Robin Hood" myth that some of his supporters purported over the years. It is meticulously researched and explains how the FBI stood by in complicity while Whitey terrorized the South Boston neighborhood and the city of Boston. Strongly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fresh new perspective on American mafia, money well spent, excellent nonfiction book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, I would recommend this book, highly! It is well written for sure, fascinating high profile fugutive on the run, then captured, his life and times chonical in the book, very well researched, crafted.
mikeMY More than 1 year ago
Comprehensive and factual. Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good book, both writers are nationally recognized for their brilliant writing in the past, did the same for this book. Very interesting, insightful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am from Boston, thought I had read all I wanted to read about Whtey Bulger but found this book fascinating, can't put it down.. Anonymous
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 Very interesting and informative book. It amazes me how long this man was able to get away with the inexplicable things he did.
somewhereintime1 More than 1 year ago
Excellent book, New York Times bestselling content in a superb AAA nonficiton book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended true-crime book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth the time, money it took to buy and read this book. Whitey Bulger, glad he is behind bars now.
EddieGreen More than 1 year ago
Could not put this book down after first page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whitey Bulger: America's Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice by Kevin Cullen, Shelly Murphy is an excellent real-life crime book.
AliyaC More than 1 year ago
Two thumbs way up for this book, great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a real eye-opener. It was frightening to see how the FBI used Whitey for their own advancement. He was a horrible man who killed, dealt drugs and generally broke the law left & right. He got away with it because his FBI handlers facilitated his crimes. They are just as guilty as he is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whitey Bulger is truly a throwback to the hey day of gangsters. The facts of his crimes and the pursuit of Bulger in his fugitive days are gripping. Easy fast paced read.