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William M. Bulger has been a formidable force in the Massachusetts Democratic party since the 1960s. He's not quite an authentic South Boston Irish (his family, it must be admitted, moved from neighboring Dorchester when he was 4), but he's become nationally recognized for representing that community, first as a state representative and later as the president of the state Senate. While the Music Lasts is a passionate memoir, alternately hilarious and saddening, about a lifetime spent standing up for the little guy. South Boston is one of the most politically active communities in the state and, as Bulger tells the tale, one of the most misunderstood. He is particularly compelling when addressing the Boston busing crisis of the 1970s, arguing that his district's opposition to forced desegregation was not primarily racially motivated, but rooted instead in the intense desire to raise their children as they saw fit without government interference (even when well intentioned). Political junkies from far outside Boston's city limits will enjoy Bulger's firsthand account of life in the political trenches. --