Sacco & Vanzetti

First Chapter

Praise for Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, The Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind

“Bruce Watson’s spirited history of the affair does a great service in rescuing fact from the haze of legend…”
New York Times

“… the most thorough and readable plumbing yet of the Case Record. . .”
The Nation

Wall Street Journal

“. . . presents a lucid, evenhanded, and at times gripping look at a complex political mystery.”
American Heritage

“. . . a well-researched page-turner. . .”
Library Journal

“Bruce Watson does a terrific job of reviewing the historical record of the trial, drawing compelling portraits of the principals, their families, and partisans on both sides of the bitter controversy.”
Seattle Times

“The literature of this case is vast, but surprisingly little of it provides as balanced and unemotional a survey as this volume does.”
Washington Post

“Likely to become, for a new generation of readers, the definitive account.”

“an unusually even-handed look at a case more often politicized than understood. . .”
New Yorker

The riveting true story of one of the nation’s most infamous trials and executions
When the state of Massachusetts electrocuted Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti on August 23, 1927, it marked one of the worst miscarriages of justice in American legal history. Or did it? In eight decades since, debate has raged about the fate of the Italian immigrants said to have been railroaded for the murder of two payroll clerks. Were they innocent? Guilty? Was one guilty and the other innocent? Was justice done or was justice “crucified”?In the first full-length narrative of the case in thirty years, Bruce Watson unwinds a gripping tale that opens with anarchist bombings throughout the Eastern Seaboard and concludes with worldwide outrage over the execution of the “good shoemaker” and the “poor fish peddler.” Sacco and Vanzetti mines deep archives and new sources, unveiling fresh details and fleshing out the two men as naïve dreamers and militant revolutionaries. This is the most complete and authoritative history of a case that still haunts the American imagination. Sacco and Vanzetti will capture fans of true crime and trial books, fans of John Grisham’s The Innocent Man, and all readers who enjoy American history that reads like a novel.