Tragedy in Dedham: The Story of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case

By Francis Russell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

THE PUBLIC AND THE LOWELL COMMITTEE

Not only in Europe but around the world--in Shanghai, Tokyo, Melbourne, Calcutta, Buenos Aires--the names Sacco and Vanzetti were by now familiar syllables and the image had become fixed of two dissenters from the American way of life being done to death for their dissent. Where scores and then hundreds had demonstrated in isolated groups, now in the approaching climax thousands thronged to vast and passionate assemblies that somehow, the participants felt, by their very vastness and passion might force the Massachusetts executioners to stay their hands. There was a fierce joy, too, in such protests, a tensing of muscles, a sense of unity and a feeling among the urban masses that in their increasingly turbulent protests against the fate of Sacco and Vanzetti they were protesting against their own isolation and their own fate.

To Continental intellectuals disillusioned by the collapse of Wilsonian idealism, the Sacco-Vanzetti case was one more devastating example from postwar America, to be set beside Prohibition, Chicago gangsters, the white-sheeted Ku Klux Klan, and the Tennessee monkey trial. The fate of the two men was what one might expect from the heartless materialism of the transatlantic republic that had won a war with its money and the blood of others and now wanted the money back.

In July, Mussolini wrote to the American ambassador in Rome "not as the head of the Italian Government but as a man who is sincerely your friend," asking for a commutation of sentence as an

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Tragedy in Dedham: The Story of the Sacco-Vanzetti Case
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • Chronology vii
  • Chapter One The Tragedy in Dedham 1
  • Chapter Two 10
  • Chapter Three April 15, 1920 28
  • Chapter Four Bridgewater And West Bridgewater 49
  • Chapter Five The Night of May 5 60
  • Chapter Six The Men and the Times 71
  • Chapter Seven 93
  • Chapter Eight The Year Between 107
  • Chapter Nine The Trial: I 129
  • Chapter Ten The Trial: II 158
  • Chapter Eleven The Trial: III 176
  • Chapter Twelve Post - Trial: I 216
  • Chapter Thirteen Post-Trial: II 237
  • Chapter Fourteen The Confessions 270
  • Chapter Fifteen More History, Written And Otherwise 302
  • Chapter Sixteen 1926 326
  • Chapter Seventeen 1927 349
  • Chapter Eighteen 380
  • Chapter Nineteen August 1927 404
  • Chapter Twenty Aftermath 451
  • Index 471
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