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Rec Room: Alex Halperin: Common Ground

November 18, 2009

Alex_Halperin-small.jpg The intricate non-fiction novel Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas follows three families—one African-American, one WASP, one Irish—through the upheaval of the Boston busing crisis. It’s a masterful look at ordinary people overtaken by historic events. With chapter length asides on the mayor, a Globe editor and other Beantown players, Common Ground is like The Wire in book form. When it was published in the mid 1980s, Common Ground won a basket of awards, including the Pulitzer, and it was made into a miniseries. As memories of the crisis fade, and fewer readers have an appetite for 600+ pages of dense reporting, the book’s celebrity hasn’t held up. But during our dark age of reporting it’s a pleasure to crack open Common Ground at any page and see how it’s done.

Bio: Alex Halperin is an editor at Guernica. Read his last recommendation “here”:

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One comment for Rec Room: Alex Halperin: Common Ground

  1. Comment by uncle dave on November 18, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Editor Joel must have some interest in Lukas’ work; his Dad co-wrote the book “The Buses Roll” on the Boston integration story.

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