Category Archives: In Search of Sacco And Vanzetti

Flowers in the Dark Summer. Time to cultivate one’s garden. Even in prison. “Officials from San Quentin in California to Rikers Island in New York have turned dusty patches into powerful metaphors for rebirth,” the Washington Post reports in a … Continue reading

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Definitely Not Bert and Ernie The story of Nick Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti has inspired historical and legal analyses, not to mention opera, ballet, folk songs, paintings, a graphic novel, documentary films, even musical comedy. And now comes the multimedia … Continue reading

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Bad Day at Braintree In 1920—on today’s date, April 15—the lives of four men changed forever. Fred Parmenter and Alessandro Berardelli crumpled and fell in a hail of bullets, mowed down by gunmen who seized the payroll cash the victims … Continue reading

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“Riffraff”

“Riffraff” Italian immigrants to the United States faced fierce discrimination in the early 20th century. In Search of Sacco and Vanzetti tells part of that story. Primo Magazine—the magazine for and about Italian Americans—recently posted an interview with me about … Continue reading

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Certainly Not a Bright Spot

Certainly Not a Bright Spot January 2, 2013. You and I still have time to make our New Year’s resolutions. On a different January 2, however—January 2, 1920—only one resolution mattered for thousands of people across the United States: the … Continue reading

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Heaven on the Mall? The amazing (and free!) National Book Festival starts in in 18 days, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it this year. I’ll be speaking about In Search of Sacco and Vanzetti at 2:30 p.m. … Continue reading

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And That’s a Wrap… Thanks to those who came to book tour events in southern New England over the past two weeks to learn more about In Search of Sacco and Vanzetti. As it turns out, I learned a lot, … Continue reading

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Class Warfare The rich are different from you and me. F. Scott Fitzgerald said so more than half a century ago. If he were alive and saying the same thing during the election year of 2012, he’d be accused of … Continue reading

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Progress The collision of old and new technology is striking in the story of Sacco and Vanzetti—at least when it comes to cars, coal, and capital punishment. In 1920 not all law enforcement officials had cars, or even knew how … Continue reading

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Black Light On May 9, 1924, Bartolomeo Vanzetti wrote a letter to Virginia MacMechan, his English tutor in prison. The finding guide to the Sacco-Vanzetti collection at the Boston Public Library, where the letter is archived, describes the letter’s postscript … Continue reading

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