In Search of Sacco and Vanzetti

Double Lives, Troubled Times,
and the Massachusetts Murder Case That Shook the World


Winner, Independent Publisher Book Award
Gold medal for true crime

“. . . gripping and vigorously researched . . . a tantalizing mystery.”
– Candice Millard, author of Destiny of the Republic 


An in-depth reexamination with startling new insights into the controversial case.

It was a bold and brutal crime—robbery and murder in broad daylight on the streets of South Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1920. Tried for the crime and convicted, two Italian-born laborers, anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, went to the electric chair in 1927, professing their innocence. Journalist Susan Tejada has spent years investigating the case, sifting through diaries and police reports and interviewing descendants of major figures. She discovers little-known facts about Sacco, Vanzetti, and their supporters, and develops a tantalizing theory about how a doomed insider may have been coerced into helping professional criminals plan the heist.

The author takes a panoramic view of the case, allowing the reader to see the personalities as individuals. She also paints a fascinating portrait of a bygone era: Providence gangsters and Boston Brahmins; nighttime raids and midnight bombings; and immigration, unionism, draft dodging, and violent anarchism in the turbulent early years of the twentieth century. This is as much a cultural history as a true-crime drama.

“. . . the suspense and engagement of a good thriller . . . .”
Booklist (starred review)

To watch videos about In Search of Sacco and Vanzetti, click on the links below:

At the Library of Congress:






Tenement Talk, with filmmaker Peter Miller and moderator Amanda Lydon.


At the Lower East Side Tenement Museum:





BookTV interview with Peter Slen.

BookTV interview with Peter Slen.

On BookTV: