Joe Moakley's Journey: From South Boston to El Salvador

Front Cover
In November 1989 in El Salvador, six Jesuit priests and their two female housekeepers were rousted from their beds and shot as they lay face down on the ground. At first, the George H. W. Bush administration echoed the Salvadoran military's line that the rebels must have done it. When House Speaker Tom Foley tasked a senior congressman with investigating the murders, the people of El Salvador found an unlikely champion in the person of John Joseph Moakley, representative from South Boston. In Joe Moakley's Journey, Mark Robert Schneider charts one of the most unusual transformations in American politics. A native son of South Boston, Moakley was an effective and influential House member, whose greatest influence and legacy is, paradoxically, far from home in the fields of El Salvador and Central America. Though firmly, fiercely grounded in his hometown of South Boston--he never lived anywhere else--from the beginning of this investigation until his death in 2001, issues of Central American justice, peace, and economic development became Joe Moakley's cause.
 

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Contents

1 Chronicle of a Death Foretold
1
2 Southie Was His Hometown
16
3 From Curleys Boston to Kennedys America
29
4 The Invisible the Blind and the Visionary
43
5 Moakley versus Hicks
60
6 The Man on the Barbed Wire Fence
76
7 The Last Days of the Working Class
99
8 Into Foreign Lands
119
10 The Jesuit Murders
160
11 Wellcom Senador Smoklin
183
12 Death and Resurrection
202
13 Return to Santa Marta
225
14 Man of the Century
241
Notes
257
Selected Bibliography
285
Index
289

Insert
142
9 A Most Unlikely Hero
143

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About the author (2013)

MARK ROBERT SCHNEIDER is adjunct professor of history at Suffolk University in Boston, and author of African Americans in the Jazz Age, "We Return Fighting," and Boston Confronts Jim Crow.

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