The case of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti has attracted world-wide attention. Yet very few of our people, except those immediately associated with the case, are at all familiar with the personalities of the two men whose fate has aroused this strong international interest.
It has been my privilege to know Vanzetti personally, and I have been struck by his simple-heartedness and sincerity. The belief in his innocence, widely held among those who followed the trials, is strengthened upon personal acquaintance. Though he has been living for more than three years under the shadow of a death sentence, he has maintained an equable temper and keen interest in world affairs, and his thirst for knowledge is unabated. Each inmate of the Massachusetts State prison at Charlestown has to do daily an amount of piece-work that is supposed to take eight hours; but Venzetti, by extra diligence, gets through his task ahead of time, and uses the extra leisure to study English literature.
Vanzetti's autobiography is here presented in pamphlet form for the first time. It is a remarkable human document. Let the reader consider it with an open mind, and judge for himself whether it indicates a character of the criminal type.
ALICE STONE BLACKWELL