I thoroughly enjoyed Jim’s novel about the much-studied Boston Police Strike of 1919 that propelled Calvin Coolidge to the White House. Jim’s fictional characters kept me turning the pages. The Rising at Roxbury Crossing is both a great lesson in history and a tribute to Irish immigrants who struggled for a better life.
Ron Guilmette, Lt. Colonel, Massachusetts State Police (Retired)
As a member of OLLI’s Curriculum Committee, I’d like to thank you for your spirited presentation, The Rising at Roxbury Crossing. The OLLI members loved your presentation! History can be fascinating, but when it is local history, the tie to Bostonians is so personal. I would probably guess that there were addition familial information about these times that the members could contribute to the subject. Interesting times, indeed!.
We know how busy everyone’s life is today, and that it’s difficult to carve out time to volunteer. Please know that we really appreciate you making time in your schedule to support the UMass Boston OLLI program. Thanks again!
Janet O’Hara Kane, Curriculum Committee, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), UMass Boston
Granddaughters of former Boston Police Commissioner Curtis comment on The Rising at Roxbury Crossing…
“James Redfearn, who was raised in the Irish community of Boston’s Mission Hill, has written a lively novel focusing on the police strike of 1919.
We are two granddaughters of Edwin Curtis, Police Commissioner at the time, who implacably opposed police efforts to unionize, thereby helping to fuel the strike. We never knew our grandfather but grew up hearing family stories that painted quite a different picture of him and of the events that swirled about him.
James Redfearn’s tale is entertaining and also balanced, good guys and bad guys on all sides. The novel is primarily the story of patrolman Willie Dwyer who becomes involved in the strike but who also must deal with an event from his youth in Ireland that returns to haunt him. Many other players and their stories appear in the novel as well: anarchists, Boston Brahmins, a thuggish band of strikebreakers, World War I veterans returning to joblessness, impoverished immigrants. The Flu epidemic had wreaked havoc, and the great Molasses Flood had recently occurred.
It was a chaotic, frightening and complex time in Boston’s history, and the author captures it well. His novel held our interest from beginning to end.”
Nina Bohlen and Penelope Caponigro
I received "The Rising at Roxbury Crossing" as a gift on Christmas and finished reading it in four evenings. This is a fantastic book! In fact, one of the best books that I have read in a long time. James Redfearn did a fantastic job in defining the tenor of society and politics in the early 1900's and he developed his characters and story line in such a fashion that I couldn’t put the book down. I enjoyed this book so much that I would love to see it developed into a film. I have encouraged family and friends to purchase this book because it’s one of those books that you keep so that you can go back to it for a re-read.
Congratulations on penning a tremendous novel. "The Rising at Roxbury Crossing" is a beautiful story told with a very creative style that is truly all your own. You have accomplished what every writer strives for – to make the reader really know the characters and . . . become an integral part of their lives.
Ed Doherty, Clerk-Magistrate, Wrentham District Court
In addition to being a great read, intrigue, politics, etc., it helped me understand the context in which my family lived in the first two decades of the century. My grandfather and his siblings all came from Galway East to Boston between 1896 and 1912. They settled in Southie, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain and found work as grocers, domestics for the Yankees, laborers in the paper mills, Boston Elevated motormen, and post strike Boston Police. I’m appreciating even more their stubborn, steady efforts to survive, and raise new families in Greater Boston during those years. Your book has given me multiple new ideas to research my family history in the early 20th century. Best regards,
Jim Garrity – Atkinson, NH
Your book is such a work of art!!!
Your book transports the reader to the early 1900s where the reality is so much different than the recorded history.
Your research and book brings reality to light. The story of your research and book put the bright light on a difficult time in American History and Law Enforcement in Massachusetts.
Your literary novel should be required reading in every Massachusetts School System. It is the actual history of a period of U. S. History that everyone should know but no one teaches.
Stephen F. Byron, Trooper
Massachusetts State Police, Retired
Tpr. Stephen Byron MSP Retired
Jim, just finished Rising – kept reading it too late into the night, and I’m not working any midnight shifts anymore. I can’t believe how well Rising is written and what research you must have done for this riveting success. What a skill/talent you have. Are Matt Damon and Ben Afleck making the Rising movie? Mark Wahlburg might be more realistic as Willie Dwyer. What subject is your next book about? My old Irish retired Feds down here in VA and some still in Boston will enjoy reading Rising. I remember my grandmother and great aunt taking me to Bingo at Mission Hill and getting dropped off there to walk down the HIll to Latin School. It rekindled great memories and some arrests in the same neigborhoods.
Good luck with the next write. Thanks, Bob Friel, ret’d Secret Service
Jim: A terrific book, wonderful read and obviously a tremendous amount of research to accomplish this fictionalized account of the memorable Boston Police Strike. It struck a cord – “Ballinasloe”, since many of my family came from there and are still there. I visited the place twice and it always has a personalization in a book when you can say “I’ve been there”. Look forward to a sequel….Again a wonderful job.
Mr. Redfearn’s engrossing novel The Rising at Roxbury Crossing weaves a web whose strands intertwine among engaging characters, whom we care for, set in an historical time piquing our interest in the events of that day. His craftsmanship is evinced as we segue from one chapter to the next in anticipation of an adventure of some consequence. His sense of place and time is unerring as details are precise and evocative of the time some ninety years ago . I have risked friendships by heartily recommending this book to over one hundred people of my acquaintance.
John & Carol Dailey, Jensen Beach, FL
I read the book in 3 days. The book stands on its own merits but considering it is your first effort, the read is truly amazing. I enjoyed the Irish element, the immigrant element and the Brahmins; plus the history of the governor appointing the Boston Police Commissioner so as to keep the Irish from getting too powerful. Great historical fiction!
Your vivid descriptions of the players, the cultures, sub-cultures, plots and personal incidences turned the read into a movie for me. I was sorry to read about Fulton Quigley’s demise. Everyone involved had their own agenda. It was hard to put the book down. I hope that you continue the story in another novel. Thank you for a great read.
Received the books. They have been sent out. You are now known coast to coast. As I recall you are launching the sales campaign officially today. Being typical Jim Redfearn there is no coincidence that it is on St Pat’s Day via local radio/Boston. Like the “old times” have a shot and a pint on me(bill me later).
The check is in the mail re; the books & shipping.
Semper Fi & God Bless
Historically 1919.could be described as cyclonic, "The Perfect Storm". Your character Patrolman Quigley, Boston PD, fits well with the intense struggles that are playing out on the streets of Boston from the influenza epidemic to the Bolshevik Terrorists. The cops are placed in a dilemma that results in the Boston Police strike of1919. I believe all of you that are veterans of law enforcement with a Celtic heritage will find The Rising at Roxbury Crossing a great read. The Rising at Roxbury Crossing should be required reading in recruit training i.e. politics of policing 101.