Tag Archives: Book

Black Mass and D. W. Griffith

13 Nov

BOSTON — Dick Lehr is a calm spoken, reserved person who has walked the in the footsteps of some of the edgiest sociopaths of our time.

He is best known for “Black Mass” (2000), the acclaimed chronicle of “Whitey” Bulger he co-authored with Gerard O’Neill, which, as you know from all the traffic-halting filming and Johnny Depp sightings this summer, is finally getting spun into a movie.

In “Judgment Ridge” (2003), Lehr, and co-author Mitchell Zuckoff, explored the heinous thrill-kill murders of Dartmouth professors Half and Susanne Zantop in their remote New Hampshire home.

And back in 1979, when working at the Hartford Courant, Lehr infiltrated a meeting of David Duke and the KKK in Danbury, Connecticut, to debunk Duke’s claim that the Klan had a large and growing membership within the Nutmeg State.

Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger films a violent scene for "Black Mass" in Boston. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

Lehr’s latest, “The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Director and a Crusading Editor Reignited America’s Civil War,” rewinds history back to 1915. It explores the conflict that played out between the groundbreaking director D.W. Griffith — whose notoriously polarizing film “Birth of a Nation” was on the verge of becoming the originalblockbuster — and journalist and activist William Monroe Trotter.  Continue reading


20 Mar
Included in anthologies from Grub Street and Thieves Jargon.


Always wear a condom, even with your girlfriend. Go easy when hazing the freshmen, you never know who’ll be covering your blindside for the home opener. Never talk back to the coach. Take the cocky shit from the black guys that make you look good when they streak down the field. Never be boastful to reporters. Floss. Always be polite to recruiters; treat each like they’re the first. Never smash the mailbox of any of the businessmen who pay for the Friday night lights—and never, ever, fuck one of their daughters, like Charles Ray did; he ended up with a busted knee cap and lost his scholarship to College Station. Try to stay in state. Don’t go double A. Feed Ma’ each morning. Wash her sheets if necessary. Make sure Mrs. Vasquez gets her dinner while you’re at practice. Call Tilson at the end of the month and remind him to send the money he likes to forget about. Stretch. Hit the weight room before lunch, but don’t lose any flexibility in your throwing arm. Slide for first downs. Only dive if the game’s on the line. Don’t get into fights—drunken has-beens, jealous wannabes and jilted  Continue reading

Moore Controversy

16 Mar

Text below or use this Web Del Sol link (Reflections On “Farenheit 9/11”) to go to the site. The essay was included in the book Your Life is a Movie, which you can still buy on Amazon. Click on the book and see!

movie book

Moore Controversy: One Rambling Critic Tackles Another

When it came to the handling of Michael Moore’s acerbic documentary, Fahrenheit 911, the conservative powers at Disney weren’t too astute. If they were trying to snuff it from distribution, then why did they sell it (back) to Harvey and Bob Weinstein? You knew the co-founders of Miramax would find a distributor (and they did through a venture with Lion’s Gate). Plus by creating a maelstrom of controversy when they said they wouldn’t release the Bush bashing polemic, Disney forever conjoined itself to the film 

Continue reading