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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.
“A heartbreaking and terrifying chronicle of violence passed from one African-American generation to the next. . . . The force of the narrative is extraordinary.” —The New Yorker
“If posterity knows what it is doing, this book will be considered a classic of the violent decades.” —The Atlantic Monthly
“An extraordinary book. . . . A stimulating and chilling account of violence in America.” —The Boston Globe
“Butterfield’s research is creative, his narrative is compelling. . . . The book’s excellence is present on every page.”
—The New York Times
“All God’s Children is a memorable book. The tragic picture it offers of blighted hope and arrested childhood is enough to make a reader weep. . . . Anyone who lives in hope that we may one day better understand the mixture of psychological, historical, and social pathology that so dominates so large a part of contemporary urban landscape would do well to read Fox Butterfield’s story of the Boskets.” —The New York Review of Books