Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families

Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families

J. Anthony Lukas

Language: English

Pages: 747

ISBN: 0394746163

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Winner of 3 different awards, this is a story of the busing crisis in Boston.

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I’ll represent our side up there and I’ll guarantee you, they won’t overturn it.” The judge offered no assurances, but the masters retained some hope for their plan. Ed McCormack realized that the judge was not simply a Jesuit-trained jurist concerned with constitutional rights and remedies; he was also a practical man, intensely concerned with what worked. After all, he had long been associated with the Kennedys, the most pragmatic of public figures, and from them Garrity had learned to

gun—that was for the professionals—but he often came armed with a fruit knife, a sharp little shiv that scared the hell out of his victims. Working the side streets off Columbus Avenue, his partner would grab the mark around the neck, yoking him with his elbow, while Richard advanced on him with the fruit knife, whispering, “Give it up, man, give it up.” People usually complied with alacrity. He had to be very careful, though. If the cops ever caught him with a weapon like that, his chances of a

snowflakes along West Newton Street, Colin called Deputy Superintendent Rachalski. “Look,” he said, “we’d be better off if you pulled your men off the street and let the muggers do their work. That way my neighbors and I might lose, say, thirty dollars a night, and people could protect themselves by not carrying cash. This way we’re getting ripped off with two hundred dollars in parking tickets every night. You may call that police protection. I don’t.” From Rachalski’s apologies it became clear

William, after the Judge. Louise was surrounded by men and boys, but the Judge remained her first love. And she was his. He boasted to lawyers in his courtroom when she won a race in the annual swimming competition off City Point. He preened when, as a student at Nazareth parochial school, she won a statewide essay competition sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians on “America’s Debt to Ireland.” When she was twenty-four, he made her a clerk in his law office, where she became expert in

twelve and fourteen, they knew enough about Martin Luther King to feel an acute sense of loss. Their mother, Rachel Twymon, wept when she heard the news in her apartment on Prescott Street in Orchard Park. When her eight-year-old daughter, Cassandra, said, “Ma, he wasn’t a member of our family, so why are you crying?” she replied, “Because, Cassandra, what he got killed for makes him my big brother, because he wanted all of us to be equal.” She started to tell Cassandra that there were other

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