Kill Now, Talk Forever

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Overview

Did Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti murder two men in South Braintree, Massachusetts on April 15, 1920? At their joint trial, alibi witnesses testified Vanzetti was selling fish that day in North Plymouth. Other alibi witnesses testified that they saw Sacco in Boston that day.

What is the truth?

Did the Dedham jury--12 men of New England culture--have evidence for conviction? Or did their guilty verdict in 1921 stem from a deeply rooted ...

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Kill Now, Talk Forever: Debating Sacco and Vanzetti

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Overview

Did Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti murder two men in South Braintree, Massachusetts on April 15, 1920? At their joint trial, alibi witnesses testified Vanzetti was selling fish that day in North Plymouth. Other alibi witnesses testified that they saw Sacco in Boston that day.

What is the truth?

Did the Dedham jury--12 men of New England culture--have evidence for conviction? Or did their guilty verdict in 1921 stem from a deeply rooted bias against these two Italian immigrants who militantly pursued their anarchist-communist goals? Were Saco and Vanzetti innocent men? Did Governor Fuller refuse to stop their execution in 1927 because Massachusetts wanted to strike back at radical aliens who set off bombs in U.S. cities in the Red Scare of 1919? Why did so many intellectuals believe the men innocent?

Answers to these questions are in the transcripts of the trial. This handbook reprints all critical testimony from the trial as well as major items from the 80-year debate. 52 questions help you sort out the experts--those who are right and those who are wrong on the trial verdict.

"Kill Now, Talk Forever" is cited in the 5th edition of AFTER THE FACT: THE ART OF HISTORICAL DETECTION (2005), by James West Davidson and Mark Hamilton.

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Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Pearson
In Kill Now,Talk Forever, Richard Newby, Associate Professor of English at Illinois State University, opts not to interpret or summarize the case for and against the defendants. He chooses instead to reprint [excerpts from] the transcript of the . . . Dedham trial of 1921 and invites the reader to make a reasoned decision about whether the men were guilty. . . . Newby then poses a series of essay questions aimed at teasing out the intricacies of the case. In addition, he collects and reprints correspondence and articles related to the case from "first, second and third generation" critics; with the pair's innocence an undisputed article of faith among many liberals, the case was debated in periodicals and letters pages until well into the 1990s. . . . As a piece of historical scholarship, Newby's volume (which has been through several editions) is impressive in its scope and has admirable intentions.
Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759607927
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse
  • Publication date: 7/1/2001
  • Edition description: 2010 Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 732
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.61 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2001

    Anarchist Terror & Justice

    This book is not a tale of vampires. It is nonfiction stuff about militant Italian immigrant anarchists who bombed American cities in 1919 to get their ideal society. At places where they bombed they left leaflets which said: 'There will have to be bloodshed; . . . there will have to be murder; we will kill, because it is necessary; we will destroy to rid the world of your tyrannical institutions.' Two of the most famous of these anarchists were Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. First part of the book has stenographic minutes of the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti--charged with murdering two men in South Braintree, Massachusetts on April 15, 1920. Was the trial verdict in 1921 fair? (Many editors of encyclopedias and historians suggest the jury brought in a guilty verdict simply because Sacco and Vanzetti were radical aliens.) Debate on that question takes up the next part of the book. The Editor lets readers judge every expert who has written on this topic, and that includes college professors. This is a true crime book that doubles as a useful handbook for teachers. 52 research topics delve into all corners of this enduring debate. Putting some sizzle into his probing, Newby charges head-on at editors of encyclopedias and reference books in American history for what he considers flaws in reporting history. Readers are told to pay deference only to truth and not to bow to highly credentialed writers, their academic honors notwithstanding. Maps and photos of the crime scene are barely adequate--small to a fault. The Index is helpful for school types, as is the annotated bibliography that reaches from 1920 to 2000. Have some intellectuals left words to posterity--posted in the bibliography or elsewhere in this book--that invite laughter? Readers can find out. Cover is colorful and crowded with the major shapers of opinion on Sacco and Vanzetti. To some this drama of the past will be fascinating. Newby invites young readers to create art and literature out of this historic debate. The topic will become a great movie, as indicated by the 1998 video--IN SEARCH OF hISTORY: TRUE STORY OF SACCO AND VANZETTI.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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