The book is dense with political and historical energy . . . . The characters are salty, often slick and bitter. While there's gritty, sex-related blackmail and a bit of romance, Redfearn's descriptions of 1919 Boston are always lyrical.
Mopsy Strange Kennedy, The Improper Bostonian (Mopsy also contributes to The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Glamour, Mademoiselle and The New York Times Magazine and Book Review).
Set to the backdrop of the Boston Police Strike and the rise of Irish-American nationalism in 1919, this is a riveting account of how an underpaid and abused police force suffered while Bostonians—divided by class, ethnicity, and political ideology—struggled to deal with the exaggerated threat of socialism after World War I. Redfearn’s understanding of the historical period is impressive, particularly the police strike, national Labor issues, the legacy of the war, the Red Scare and Boston political history. The portrayal of the historic characters is believable and, in fact, the depiction of Boston during this period, including the Irish community’s relationship with the other groups and the larger historical background, is so good that I would consider using this novel in a class about Irish America or the postwar era.
Damien Murray, Assistant Professor of History, Elms College, Chicopee, MA, author, Lighting the Cause of Humanity: Boston’s Irish and the Limits of Transnational Ethnic Nationalism, 1900-1916.
James Redfearn captures the smells, sounds, pace, and grit of 1919 Boston in a most powerful way, but most compelling of all are his people. Cops and bad guys, immigrants and anarchists, drunks and politicians, squeaky clean heroes and sleazy rogues—they all come alive in The Rising at Roxbury Crossing. Read this book if you love history, love Boston, or just simply love a rollicking good story.
Stephen Puleo, author, Dark Tide: The Great Molasses Flood of 1919; The Boston Italians; and A City So Grand: The Rise of an American Metropolis, Boston: 1850-1900.