Twentieth-Century Cause Caelaebre: Sacco, Vanzetti, and the Press, 1920-1927

By John F. Neville | Go to book overview

3
Appeals and Cocaine

Although fund-raising went reasonably well, Fred Moore’s ambitious publicity campaign in America foundered during the Fall of 1921. The only references to the case, other than reports of bombings and violence linked to Sacco-Vanzetti partisans in Europe and Latin America, were two articles in two relatively low-circulation magazines. It was just as well: Both reports proved somewhat embarrassing to the defense committee, as well as to Moore. An article by Clarence Skinner in the Survey largely emphasized the fairness of the trial.1 Boston lawyer Arthur Warner’s piece in the Nation bluntly dismissed the notion that Sacco-Vanzetti was another Mooney case and noted that the anarchists were not “labor leaders.”2 Although Warner did not doubt the innocence of the Italian radicals, he rather pointedly noted that “they were of too little importance to be persecuted by any powerful interests.”3 It was one of those thoughtlessly embarrassing revelations misguided friends and allies seem to make—and at the most inopportune time.

Just when it seemed that the Sacco-Vanzetti case would suffer the dubious distinction of being famous internationally, but limited at home to news coverage in Boston and its suburbs, a week-long series of articles on the case appeared in the New York World. Written by reporter Samuel Spewack, the series began just before Thanksgiving. Spewack’s series was syndicated by the Press Publishing Company and appeared in many major American daily newspapers. Fred Moore could not have planned or timed the release of the articles any better. The fact that Spewack’s reports

-43-

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Twentieth-Century Cause Caelaebre: Sacco, Vanzetti, and the Press, 1920-1927
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Secrets: the Galleanisti 1
  • 2 - The Trial 27
  • 3 - Appeals and Cocaine 43
  • 4 - Deus Ex Machina: Zola Redux 57
  • 5 - The Long Good-Bye 85
  • 6 - A Cardinal Calamity 109
  • 7 - Pilate on the Boston Train 113
  • Epilogue 141
  • Notes 155
  • Select Bibliography 173
  • Index 179
  • About the Author 191
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