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Extended Audio Sample Whitey: The Life of America’s Most Notorious Mob Boss, by Dick Lehr, Gerard O’Neill Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (36 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dick Lehr, Gerard O’Neill Narrator: John Rubinstein Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Drawing on a trove of sealed files and previously classified material, Whitey digs deep into the mind of James J. “Whitey” Bulger, the crime boss and killer who brought the FBI to its knees. He is an American original, a psychopath who fostered a following with a frightening mix of terror, deadly intimidation, and the deft touch of a politician who often helped a family in need meet their monthly rent. But the history shows that despite the early false myths portraying him as a Robin Hood figure, Whitey was a supreme narcissist, and everything, every interaction with family and his politician brother Bill Bulger, with underworld cohorts, with law enforcement, with his South Boston neighbors, and with his victims, was always about him. In an Irish-American neighborhood where loyalty has always been rule one, the Bulger brand was loyalty to oneself.

Whitey deconstructs Bulger’s insatiable hunger for power and control. Building on their years of reporting and uncovering new Bulger family records, letters and prison files, Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill examine and reveal the factors and forces that created the monster. It’s a deeply rendered portrait of evil that spans nearly a century, taking Whitey from the streets of his boyhood Southie in the 1940s to his cell in Alcatraz in the 1950s to his cunning, corrupt pact with the FBI in the 1970s and, finally, to Santa Monica, California where for fifteen years he was hiding in plain sight as one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted. In a lifetime of crime and murder that ended with his arrest in June 2011, Whitey Bulger became one of the most powerful and deadly crime bosses of the twentieth century. This is his story.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The definitive word on the whole sordid saga of the Bulger mob. Expertly crafted, beautifully told.”

    Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author of Mystic River

  • “Lehr and O’Neill have outdone themselves.”

    Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of The Leftovers

  • Whitey is a masterpiece of investigative reporting that unravels a tension-filled tale of murder, treachery, and abuse of power.” 

    Ronald Kessler, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets of the FBI 

  • “Exemplary journalism, high drama, and, for Bulger’s victims, an ongoing tragedy: rarely has a book mattered more.”

    James Carroll, New York Times bestselling author of Mortal Friends

  • “A fascinating psychological profile.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Dennis Lehane and Martin Scorsese: take a seat. Nobody knows the twisted saga of Whitey Bulger and his gang; covered this story of criminal savagery and official corruption with more courage, or tell the tale now with such élan as Gerard O'Neill and Dick Lehr.”

    John Farrell, author of Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century

  • “Once you start reading, you don’t want to put it down.”

    Bill Bratton, LAPD chief of police

  • “Lehr and O’Neill have culled material far and wide—transcripts, old prison records, official documents, interviews, books, and clippings. But best of all, they’ve woven it all in a narrative that is extraordinary, compelling, and impossible to put down.”

    Nancy Gertner, retired US district court judge and author of In Defense of Women

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Biz | 12/11/2013

    " Fascinating! Truth really is stranger than fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kate | 12/10/2013

    " Fantastic. Typical quality read from Lehr. Not as good as Black Mass in my estimation, but a very thorough look at Whitey's life with some (surprising) new revelations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Christopher Borden | 4/27/2013

    " Not as good as Black Mass by same authors, lots of rehashing old points, would have been better as a multi-part series in a magazine or newspaper. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Chrissy | 3/11/2013

    " Riveting story of James Whitey Bulger; just yesterday his trial was in the newspaper. They're making a few films based on his life (unlike Departure, it'll be named and truly based on his life in Boston + U.S. A page turner! "

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About the Author

Dick Lehr is a professor of journalism at Boston University and a former reporter at the Boston Globe, where he won numerous awards and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for investigative reporting. He is the author of The Fence: A Police Cover-up Along Boston’s Racial Divide, which was an Edgar Award finalist and a Boston Globe bestseller. He is the coauthor of several other books, including the national bestseller and Edgar Award-winning Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal.