Kim MacQueen

  • People Who Hate America BY Kim MacQueen
    Champlain Books

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Novelist and publisher Kim MacQueen serves as vice president of Barnes MacQueen Publishing Resources and Champlain Books, based in Burlington, Vermont. She is the author of two books: “People Who Hate America” debuting in Fall 2014 and “Out, Out,” released in 2011. Kim teaches in Champlain College’s Professional Writing Program.

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Book Reviews

This Newark-based novel explores its mayor, the mobbed-up man behind the 1967 riots that ripped the city apart.

Hugh Addonizio was mayor of Newark, NJ from 1962 to 1969. He served as city father during the riots in the summer of 1967. A blue-ribbon commission appointed to study the cause of the riots pointed the finger squarely at the mayor’s racist policies. He was running for re-election and hoped to one day become governor when he was sent to federal prison for corruption and tax evasion, his administration reportedly so corrupt that critics said he had “literally delivered the city into the hands of organized crime.” I believe he is also a distant relative of mine. My maiden name is Addonizio, and Hugh’s family seems to have come to Ellis Island from the same area of Naples, Italy as my father’s father, just before the turn of the century. Nobody ever told me about Hugh; I found him by accident and then spent years researching him. But I’ve never been able to understand to what extent he was culpable for these crimes, or what kind of man he was. People Who Hate America is my second novel. It’s about Hugh, his family, and friends; about what it felt like to live in downtown Newark in the 1960s, whether you were black or white, Irish or Italian, Christian or Jewish, rich or poor. It’s about what your life looks like if you’re a political machine with a lovely family, a penchant for gambling and a bunch of gangsters for friends.

My review of this book offers it a Five Stars rating. It is difficult to put it down once you begin reading.

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