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Sunday, January 01, 2006
 
Another Leftist Myth Bites the Dust

Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty according to a recently discovered letter written by Upton Sinclair, who wrote a fictionalized account of the case.

"Alone in a hotel room with Fred, I begged him to tell me the full truth," Sinclair wrote. " … He then told me that the men were guilty, and he told me in every detail how he had framed a set of alibis for them."

"Of course," he added, "the next big case may be a frame-up, and my telling the truth about the Sacco-Vanzetti case will make things harder for the victims."

He also worried that revealing what he had been told would cost him readers. "It is much better copy as a naïve defense of Sacco and Vanzetti because this is what all my foreign readers expect, and they are 90% of my public," he wrote to Minor.


I remember another author looked into Sacco and Vanzetti a few years back and reached the same conclusion. As time goes by, all the Leftist icons of generations back are being exposed. Sinclair deserves a raspberry for writing his book (which indicated the pair were innocent), despite knowing better.

I'm struck by the blathering tone of this part of the story:

But the fearless Sinclair was left a conflicted man by what Sacco and Vanzetti's lawyer — and later others in the anarchist movement — told him.

The fearless Sinclair turned out to be fearful, however, when it came to the likely reaction of his "comrades" on the Left if he published the truth:

"My wife is absolutely certain that if I tell what I believe, I will be called a traitor to the movement and may not live to finish the book," Sinclair wrote Robert Minor, a confidant at the Socialist Daily Worker in New York, in 1927.

Hat Tip: Common Sense & Wonder

No Great Matter points out that there has been literary evidence for awhile that Sinclair was doubtful of some of the claims of Sacco and Vanzetti, although he does indeed conclude that this was possibly the first we knew that he felt they were guilty of the crimes for which they were executed.

And it is plain that many, if not most of the popular websites on the Sacco and Vanzetti case presume they were innocent--even some websites that are not obviously liberal, like the Crime Library.

While memories of the details of this particular case are fading, the Sacco-Vanzetti case remains in its broad outline the prime example of defendants tried not for what they did, but for whom they were: poor, passionate radicals, in an era in which the United States lived in a state of fear. It was the era of "The Red Scare."
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