• Title: All God's Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence
  • Author: Fox Butterfield
  • Released: 1995-10-10
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 389
  • ISBN: 0394582861
  • ISBN13: 978-0394582863
  • ASIN: 0394582861
Willie Bosket was charming, magnetic, and brilliant. He was also the most cold-blooded criminal the New York State penal system had ever seen. By the time he was in his teens, he had committed over two hundred armed robberies and twenty-five stabbings. Fox Butterfield examines the heritage of violence that followed Bosket's family from their days in slavery in South Carolina to the present.

From Publishers Weekly Wide-ranging and somewhat unwieldy, this ambitious book tells a challenging, memorable story about race, violence and our American future. Investigating the case of Willie Bosket, whose crimes as a New York juvenile presaged a surge of youth violence and spurred much tougher prosecution of juveniles, New York Times correspondent Butterfield (China: Alive in the Bitter Sea) delved into the Bosket family background. He argues that the white Southern mentality of easily aggrieved honor has made its way through time and the descendants of slaves, transmuted into the similar hair-trigger ethos of inner-city streets. While Butterfield's thesis doesn't completely convince (what about the barrios or the wild west?), his reporting on the lives, crimes and prison experiences of Willie and his father, Butch, is painfully gripping. Finally released after reforming himself in prison, Butch couldn't handle freedom and killed himself as police pursued him. Willie, in prison for life, considers himself "a monster created by the system." In an epilogue, the author warns that building prisons won't solve our crime problem, and he proposes several policies?including intervention programs to help adolescent delinquents?to prevent future carnage. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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