New book on Sacco, Vanzetti says they were innocent but questions remain

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Precisely 80 years on, the Sacco-Vanzetti case still resonates like a mournful chord. Almost instantly elevated to the status of myth, the trial and execution of the anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti remains one of the blackest pages in the American national story, a cautionary tale of lethal passions fueled by political fear and ethnic prejudice....

“Sacco and Vanzetti,” Bruce Watson’s spirited history of the affair, does a great service in rescuing fact from the haze of legend and disentangling Sacco and Vanzetti from the symbols they all too quickly became. ...

No one knows what Sacco and Vanzetti were up to that night. Both told multiple lies to the police. Vanzetti later claimed that he had simply wanted to avoid naming friends and fellow anarchists. Mr. Watson, although highly sympathetic to both men and, like most historians, almost certain that they did not commit the payroll murders, points out that no one can explain what Sacco and Vanzetti were up to the night of their arrest and that, “no matter how much one wants to shout their innocence, questions remain.”

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kelly L Hargraves - 8/17/2007

check out the new documentary film on the subject at