In My Father's House
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist: a path-breaking examination of our huge crime and incarceration problem that looks at the influence of the family--specifically one Oregon family with a generations-long legacy of lawlessness.The United States currently holds the distinction of housing nearly one-quarter of the world's prison population. But our reliance on mass incarceration, Fox Butterfield argues, misses the intractable reality: As few as 5 percent of families account for half of all crime, and only 10 percent account for two-thirds. In introducing us to the Bogle family, the author invites us to understand crime in this eye-opening new light. He chronicles the malignant legacy of criminality passed from parents to children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. Examining the long history of the Bogles, a white family, Butterfield offers a revelatory look at criminality that forces us to disentangle race from our ideas about crime and, in doing so, strikes at the heart of our deepest stereotypes. And he makes clear how these new insights are leading to fundamentally different efforts at reform. With his empathic insight and profound knowledge of criminology, Butterfield offers us both the indelible tale of one family's transgressions and tribulations, and an entirely new way to understand crime in America.

In My Father's House Details

TitleIn My Father's House
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 9th, 2018
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
ISBN-139781400041022
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Crime, True Crime, Mystery, Biography, Family

In My Father's House Review

  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Fox Butterfield has written an expose of sorts. With all the books written in the past decade about rampant crime and police brutality, specifically regarding the black community, Butterfield takes a different tack and suggests a large part of the prison population, regardless of color, is related by blood and have familial ties to crime going back decades. His extensive research profiles one family - The Bogles: white, poor and criminal - and traces their criminal roots back to the Great Depres Fox Butterfield has written an expose of sorts. With all the books written in the past decade about rampant crime and police brutality, specifically regarding the black community, Butterfield takes a different tack and suggests a large part of the prison population, regardless of color, is related by blood and have familial ties to crime going back decades. His extensive research profiles one family - The Bogles: white, poor and criminal - and traces their criminal roots back to the Great Depression, when desperation drove many folks to deviant behavior in order to survive and support their families. Butterfield was able to gain intimate access and trust from the Bogle family, yielding comprehensive interviews, and through their stories learned how criminal behavior was passed down from one generation to the next, with the parents encouraging their children to commit crimes and do hard time in order to gain acceptance and respect. By removing race from the equation, Butterfield suggests that criminality is a disease, just like many others, that is often hereditary. "It takes a family to raise a criminal." Butterfield points out: "We talk about the importance of family values, and in doing so we tend to assume that these values are good, but family values can go off track and be bad, and the results, over generations, can be devastating."It takes a collossal effort to break the pattern and choose a different way of life when everyone in your familial circle are practiced felons. Many of the Bogle children would grow up to do hard time, get out, try to go straight and fail because not participating in the family business was looked upon with derision. If the young man or woman continued to try and live straight, the police would frequently pull over their cars and arrest them anyway because it was likely someone in their family was guilty - it became a vicious cycle. In an effort to change, some of the Bogles moved to Oregon from Texas, thinking a new environment where their family name was unknown would help them stay straight. But as soon as things got tough; their continued low status in society, being disadvantaged "urban hillbillies" along with their DNA, they'd soon fall back on crime, a way of life they understood, often compounded by drug abuse and alcoholism. Butterfield takes us through several branches of the Bogle family tree, following grandfather, sons and grandsons; daughters and wives (who often chose their future husbands via something called, "assortive mating"), selecting partners with similar characteristics to the men they were raised with - men with criminal backgrounds, histories of drunkeness and violence and histories of incarceration, until the reader is convinced there will never be any hope for anyone with Bogle blood running through their veins. Reader Beware: Every stereotype ever invented to describe fringe-of-society behavioral patterns will occur to you during the telling of this story - keeping an open mind becomes difficult even if you have an above-average ability to practice empathy and compassion.It is with muted relief the author introduces us to Tammie Bogle and then Ashley Bogle in the latter part of the book entitled: BREAKING THE FAMILY CURSE. The women began to turn the ship, first Tammie after a few false starts, who found religion and then a good man and came to understand that the key to keeping her relatives away from a life of crime as they came out of incarceration was to have them avoid moving back in with their families. She and her husband ran a halfway house and the couple helped over 3,000 former convicts with rehabilitation until a disgruntled board member shut their efforts down. Ashley, the grandaughter of arguably the worst of the Bogle's, a sociopath named Rooster, was raised in a household determined to break the chain. Her parents stayed together after a rocky start and managed to kept the criminal element at arms length for a time, sending Ashley and her siblings to school, despite numerous moves and school changes due to their near-poverty existence. When Ashley's father (Rooster's son Tim) was diagnosed with bipolar disorder the influences of the criminal Bogles would impinge on their household: Even as Ashley became the first Bogle to finish highshool and graduate college in 150 years, her younger sister became an unwed mother, developed a drug habit and was arrested and put in jail for drug possession and child neglect. There is no happy ending to this story but certainly Fox Butterfield's well-researched, timely book will help us better understand the hereditary and genetic predisposition of over 50% of our probation/paroled/jailed/prison population **My thanks to Penguin Random House for the digital ARC in exchange for a candid review.
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  • Paige Jeanty
    January 1, 1970
    "Our reliance on mass incarceration, Fox Butterfield argues, misses the intractable reality: As few as 5 percent of families account for half of all crime, and only 10 percent account for two-thirds." Butterfield introduces the reader to the Bogle family, and chronicles the four generations of criminal activity within the family. Through a balance of criminology research and data collected from the Bogles, Butterfield denounces racial stereotypes as he explores this white family and their histor "Our reliance on mass incarceration, Fox Butterfield argues, misses the intractable reality: As few as 5 percent of families account for half of all crime, and only 10 percent account for two-thirds." Butterfield introduces the reader to the Bogle family, and chronicles the four generations of criminal activity within the family. Through a balance of criminology research and data collected from the Bogles, Butterfield denounces racial stereotypes as he explores this white family and their history with the law. This carefully written novel explores the question of whether or not crime is inherited or siloed from person to person. Told in the form of a narrative, Butterfield does an expert job of building character, suspense, and support that like familial values, crime can be taught. This was a fascinating and heart-wrenching novel. The generations of crime the Bogle family has participated in is unbelievable, and the pride they take in their criminal activity is mind-boggling. This novel really begs the reader to question "nature vs. nurture" and what impact genetics and family play on a child's development. My heart wanted to break as Rooster emotionally abused his children, and then it broke all over again when I read about how their adult lives led them straight to prison. I never really thought about the fact our prison system could be comprised of multiple family members, causing them to make up a large percentage of inmates, but after reading this novel, it makes sad sense. This is a novel that I am happy I read because it educated me in a topic that I was very unfamiliar with. 
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  • Angela Gibson
    January 1, 1970
    In My Father's House confronts nature and nurture, racism, family history as it chronicles a family with multiple generations and multiple family members who are incarcerated for crimes ranging from theft to murder. It was disconcerting to read of the pride when fathers would realize their endeavors to raise up children as criminals would result in their incarceration.In other words, the genealogy of the Bogle family is one messed up history.It's not surprising to learn that the Bogles fell into In My Father's House confronts nature and nurture, racism, family history as it chronicles a family with multiple generations and multiple family members who are incarcerated for crimes ranging from theft to murder. It was disconcerting to read of the pride when fathers would realize their endeavors to raise up children as criminals would result in their incarceration.In other words, the genealogy of the Bogle family is one messed up history.It's not surprising to learn that the Bogles fell into a pattern of grifting, thievery, and murder once you read the author's assertion from criminologists from the United States and other countries that "as little as five percent of families account for two-thirds of all crimes."The racism of our incarceration system really struck me as I read In My Father's House. Consider just one particular research, the Gluecks' study conducted in the Boston area in the 1940s. All of the delinquent boys from this study were white. "This racial makeup is a reminder that until the 1960s at least, until the Second Great Migration of black from the South after World War II, most crime, including violent crime, was committed by whites." How then is it that as of 2014, 69% of all crimes reported to the police are committed by whites yet 6% of black men age thirty to thirty-nine were in prison; Hispanic men of the same age was 2%, and white men of same age was 1%?In the Bogle family, at least 60 family members have been arrested or imprisoned. This lineage of crime dates back to the 1920s. The Epilogue contains a surprising twist that is not be missed.True crime fans would really enjoy this well researched glimpse into the life of a crime family.Thank you to FirstoRead for supplying an eARC of In My Father's House in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Chris Waraksa
    January 1, 1970
    This book is built around a rather startling statistic: "5 percent of families in America account for half of all crime and 10 percent of families account for two thirds." This book then goes on to illustrate how crime can run in families by focusing on one particular rather impoverished-in every way--family of poor whites who moved from the reconstruction South to East Texas around Paris, Texas and from there eventually some of them ended up in Oregon. This family of Bogles spanning several gen This book is built around a rather startling statistic: "5 percent of families in America account for half of all crime and 10 percent of families account for two thirds." This book then goes on to illustrate how crime can run in families by focusing on one particular rather impoverished-in every way--family of poor whites who moved from the reconstruction South to East Texas around Paris, Texas and from there eventually some of them ended up in Oregon. This family of Bogles spanning several generations has been responsible for an amazing amount of crime with 60 members in prison multiple times from 1923 to date. It is a depressing book as it brings you face to face with the kind of grinding poverty and inhumane environment so many grow up in. The thesis here is that family upbringing and modeling are overlooked in the modern narrative of crime. We don't like to discuss the role of family because it raises heredity as a source of criminality and that can reinforce prejudice and racisim, which is why Butterfield chooses a white family to illustrate the statistic quoted above. (A previous book by Butterfield that I have not read deals with crime and violence in a black family.) This was an interesting read and it seems important for those who would like to reduce crime to recognize the role of family upbringing--and possibly heredity-- in crime.
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  • Victoria Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 4 StarsDays it Took to Read: 7Review: This was a powerful read. It truly shows how the environment you grow up in can affect your entire life for better or worse. In this nonfiction piece, Butterfield follows the Bogle family and shares their "curse." One couple's choice of lifestyle and parenting led for generation after generation to end up in prison. I could not believe that over 60 people in one family ended up in a life of crime.Butterfield had a great balance between narrative and Rating: 4 StarsDays it Took to Read: 7Review: This was a powerful read. It truly shows how the environment you grow up in can affect your entire life for better or worse. In this nonfiction piece, Butterfield follows the Bogle family and shares their "curse." One couple's choice of lifestyle and parenting led for generation after generation to end up in prison. I could not believe that over 60 people in one family ended up in a life of crime.Butterfield had a great balance between narrative and research studies to back up his discoveries. I found his points very compelling and felt the hopelessness many young Bogles must have felt. It was interesting to learn how childhood events, instability, mental health, etc. play a combined role in forming a criminal.I think this is an important book to read because it challenges and disproves prior thoughts on how race, "criminal genes" and other factors play a role in creating a criminal. It demonstrates how our current correctional system and how costly and ineffective it is, especially for the Bogle family. I enjoyed learning about potential solutions and how the trial studies have gone so far. This book will make you think hard, it will startle you, and it will give you hope that this criminal cycle can be broken.If you've enjoyed books like Dreamland or Evicted, you will probably enjoy this one as well. Thank you First to Read and Penguin for providing me with an early copy for an honest review!
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  • Colleen
    January 1, 1970
    New York Times reporter spent years investigating this family and interviewing them. Generations of criminals, impulsive, charming, terrifying, drunks, drug addicts, truants. The US prison system gave up tracking families of criminals when the Eugenics Movement was discredited along with facism, but the author looks into nature vs. nurture. He finds it's both. The kids with relatively stable childhoods in this family find it easier to hold down a job and marry the right partner. But they're the New York Times reporter spent years investigating this family and interviewing them. Generations of criminals, impulsive, charming, terrifying, drunks, drug addicts, truants. The US prison system gave up tracking families of criminals when the Eugenics Movement was discredited along with facism, but the author looks into nature vs. nurture. He finds it's both. The kids with relatively stable childhoods in this family find it easier to hold down a job and marry the right partner. But they're the exception. You can see how the tendency to jump at opportunities would be beneficial for a family. Grandma learned to be a stunt motorcycle rider for a traveling carnival. The kids didn't get much schooling but it kept the family fed during the Depression. Unfortunately Grandpa and Grandma loved drinking and partying and if the kids were successful at stealing they didn't get beaten. The book is an eye opener on how marginal families slip through the social cracks in the safety net and prison takes the place of the 19th century workhouse. It also helps us understand the mindset of wealthy grifter families like the Trumps.
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  • Holly Barker
    January 1, 1970
    Using that data of 10% of families account for 2/3 of all crime as a jumping off point, Butterfield follows the (white) Bogle family from their origins in Texas to their move to Oregon. Overall, 60 members of this family have been incarcerated. Drawing on the ideas of learned behavior, the choices and crimes of various family members are described along with some interviews including each individual’s own words. I thought this was a great idea for a book and an interesting thing that learned beh Using that data of 10% of families account for 2/3 of all crime as a jumping off point, Butterfield follows the (white) Bogle family from their origins in Texas to their move to Oregon. Overall, 60 members of this family have been incarcerated. Drawing on the ideas of learned behavior, the choices and crimes of various family members are described along with some interviews including each individual’s own words. I thought this was a great idea for a book and an interesting thing that learned behavior can be positive or negative. I found the second half of the book, wherein several family members tell their own stories, fascinating. However, the first half was a bit bland. I also would have liked to see a little more focus on the psychological theory and the interplay of mental illness and learned criminal behavior, which was not discussed until the second half. An interesting book overall, but ultimately I wanted more. I received an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kia
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fascinating look at how crime "travels" through families, providing a close look at one family throughout several generations, over 60 members of which ended up in jail/prison at one time or another. It is clear that Butterfield was passionate about his topic and meticulously researched and investigated the Bogle family (detailed notes and information about his sources are provided in the book). The first half provides a broad overview of the early Bogles, crime, and the legal/justice This is a fascinating look at how crime "travels" through families, providing a close look at one family throughout several generations, over 60 members of which ended up in jail/prison at one time or another. It is clear that Butterfield was passionate about his topic and meticulously researched and investigated the Bogle family (detailed notes and information about his sources are provided in the book). The first half provides a broad overview of the early Bogles, crime, and the legal/justice system, while the second half gives us a closer look into the lives and crimes of various members of the family. The book also asks a lot of important questions, ultimately without answering them: why is our justice system so broken? Why do so many people "slip through the cracks"? How much effect does mental health have on crime/criminality? How can we stop the family tradition of crime? It was a very eye opening book for me, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in true crime or criminal justice studies, heartbreaking though it is.
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  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    My Father’s House by Fox Butterfield follows the criminal history of the Bogle Family who have had 60 of their family members incarcerated. Is there a “Crime” gene? Are they criminals because of a mental illness thread running throughout their family? Or is it solely their environment that leads them to a life of crime? Backed by many interviews of the Bogle Family and the presiding Judge for many of the cases, I don’t think Butterfield could have written a more interesting story, although it be My Father’s House by Fox Butterfield follows the criminal history of the Bogle Family who have had 60 of their family members incarcerated. Is there a “Crime” gene? Are they criminals because of a mental illness thread running throughout their family? Or is it solely their environment that leads them to a life of crime? Backed by many interviews of the Bogle Family and the presiding Judge for many of the cases, I don’t think Butterfield could have written a more interesting story, although it becomes a bit depressing after a while. The story does end on a high note, however, after 150 years of family history they have their first family member to graduate with an associates degree. I certainly hope she is the beginning of the end of this family’s criminal history. Thank you to First To Read and Penguin Random House for bringing this criminal story my way. I’ll be thinking about it for a while.
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  • (a)lyss(a)
    January 1, 1970
    "One time he made Tony get drunk and then ordered him to box his much larger father."I received a copy of this ebook from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review.This is a brutal and fascinating book. Following the Bogle family (including extended family) the author looks at how relationships affected this group to drive so many of them (at least 60!) to commit crimes that led them to prison or reform school. By interviewing various family members about their experiences Fox Butterfield "One time he made Tony get drunk and then ordered him to box his much larger father."I received a copy of this ebook from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review.This is a brutal and fascinating book. Following the Bogle family (including extended family) the author looks at how relationships affected this group to drive so many of them (at least 60!) to commit crimes that led them to prison or reform school. By interviewing various family members about their experiences Fox Butterfield puts together a terrible story of how Rooster shaped his sons to be criminals and how the cycle of abuse continued to have the same affect on generations. This book examines the toxic masculinity and other dangerous habits the Bogle's exhibit that link to family dysfunction and led to lives of crime. It's really an interesting peak into this family that gives us insight on how to prevent crime and heal victims of abuse.
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  • Terri
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is an interesting view of how crime follows generation after generation in a family. This is interesting because in this theory, it is white families, not blacks. In this theory, people are not given the chance to get back on their feet once they have gone to jail or prison. Once they have been convicted, they can never be a productive member of society again, so they just go back in the system, and repeat th I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is an interesting view of how crime follows generation after generation in a family. This is interesting because in this theory, it is white families, not blacks. In this theory, people are not given the chance to get back on their feet once they have gone to jail or prison. Once they have been convicted, they can never be a productive member of society again, so they just go back in the system, and repeat the cycle. Then, blacks became part of the cycle because we added drugs to the mixture and now they are part of the cycle. This also posits that the system is made up of a very small amount of the same families. This is a very interesting theory, but it’s kind of a dry read because he tries to put too many stats in it.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    This was a shocking and sad chronology of a family with more than 60 members (over 4 generations) who've been sent to jail, sent to prison, and/or put on probation or parole. While the book touches somewhat on the nature vs. nurture debate and poses a lot of thought-provoking questions about genetics, there's not much scientific fact presented to answer them - just a lot of anecdotal "evidence" based on this one family. I had hoped for more. Besides that, this book was more an indictment of our This was a shocking and sad chronology of a family with more than 60 members (over 4 generations) who've been sent to jail, sent to prison, and/or put on probation or parole. While the book touches somewhat on the nature vs. nurture debate and poses a lot of thought-provoking questions about genetics, there's not much scientific fact presented to answer them - just a lot of anecdotal "evidence" based on this one family. I had hoped for more. Besides that, this book was more an indictment of our criminal justice system's obvious and long-running failures: the revolving door of crime-court-prison-crime-court-prison that most of the Bogles have experienced for their entire lives, with no other real forms of intervention or attempts at rehabilitation. We need some fresh ideas on how to stop these cycles. This book, the story of the Bogle family, and our society, are all pretty depressing.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Penguin Random House and First to Read for the Advance Galley un exchange for an honest and unbiased review. My Father's House by Fox Butterfield is the non-fiction story of the Bogle family. The family has had 60 members incarcerated. Butterfield uses interviews with family members and judges along with historical records and news to tell the heart breaking story of a family drawn to crime. The goal of the book is to investigate what link caused this family to have this legacy. The Thank you to Penguin Random House and First to Read for the Advance Galley un exchange for an honest and unbiased review. My Father's House by Fox Butterfield is the non-fiction story of the Bogle family. The family has had 60 members incarcerated. Butterfield uses interviews with family members and judges along with historical records and news to tell the heart breaking story of a family drawn to crime. The goal of the book is to investigate what link caused this family to have this legacy. The book reads as part textbook and part crime story. The author's storytelling keeps it from getting dry. These real people live their lives fully fleshed out. It is both captivating and heart breaking.
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  • Patrick Macke
    January 1, 1970
    This book is interesting in the same way down-and-out reality TV shows and gnarly car wrecks are interesting ... It is sad and depressing and, in a certain way, disgusting that some are willfully breeding criminals ... The conclusion - that if you are raised by and around criminals that you become one - seems obvious, but is the root genetic or environmental or the organic consequence of extreme poverty? One thing is undeniable, your lot in life is heavily influenced by one random twist of fate This book is interesting in the same way down-and-out reality TV shows and gnarly car wrecks are interesting ... It is sad and depressing and, in a certain way, disgusting that some are willfully breeding criminals ... The conclusion - that if you are raised by and around criminals that you become one - seems obvious, but is the root genetic or environmental or the organic consequence of extreme poverty? One thing is undeniable, your lot in life is heavily influenced by one random twist of fate - the family you happen to be born into
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  • Olga Zelenova
    January 1, 1970
    This book left me with an internal conflict - I can't decide if I'm hopeful or discouraged by what I've learned about the Bogle family. Probably a little bit of both. Book received via First To Read.
  • Susan Elizabetha
    January 1, 1970
    A detailed book on the Bogle family and its descendants in the study of criminology. This is an informative account of one family, generation by generation, crimes committed and time served in prison. Thank you to First to Read, Penguin Books for the chance to read this book.
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  • PWRL
    January 1, 1970
    A
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