Sacco-Vanzetti: The Murder and the Myth

Sacco-Vanzetti: The Murder and the Myth

Sacco-Vanzetti: The Murder and the Myth

Sacco-Vanzetti: The Murder and the Myth

Excerpt

That great cause célèbre of the 1920s, the Sacco-Vanzetti case, is for the extremists a judicial murder engineered by a decadent ruling class ("hangmen in frock-coats") to eliminate two innocent radicals ("goddam agitators") who were menacing the Old Order in Massachusetts. A variant of this extreme interpretation acquits the ruling class of murder with malice prepense, but finds in the Massachusetts of the 1920's a hatred of aliens, a fear of radicalism, and a sadistic fury which made it impossible for anyone from juror to Governor, from policeman to university president, to act sanely, decently, or humanely when a radical was accused of crime.

On the other hand, there are those who, like Mr. Justice Holmes, interpreted the case as an ordinary murder made into a text by the Reds.

Because of the great and continuing influence upon the world of the belief that Massachusetts executed two innocent men because of their radical opinions, the case remains an event of importance with which historians must deal.

This book is an attempt to tell the truth about the case and to answer two questions -- "Were they guilty?" and "Did they have a fair trial?"

I am not young enough to believe that telling the truth about the case will demolish a myth so dear to the credulous who have deified Vanzetti and so valuable to the powerful influences here and abroad who still use it for propaganda and mass agitation.

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