Sacco and Vanzetti
The Anarchist Background
Paul Avrich


The Sacco-Vanzetti affair is the most famous and controversial case in American legal history. It divided the nation in the 1920s, and it has continued to arouse deep emotions, giving rise to an enormous literature. Few writers, however, have consulted anarchist sources for the wealth of information available there about the movement of which the defendants were a part. Now Paul Avrich, the preeminent American scholar of anarchism, looks at the case from this new and valuable perspective. This book treats a dramatic and hitherto neglected aspect of the cause célèbre that raised, according to Edmund Wilson, "almost every fundamental question of our political and social system."

Paul Avrich is Distinguished Professor of History at Queens College and the Graduate School, the City University of New York. His books include Anarchist Portraits and The Haymarket Tragedy, published by Princeton University Press.