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The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti by Rick Geary

The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti by Rick Geary

Geary presents readers with all the twists and turns, appeals and dubious evidence after presenting the human faces of the two men - demonised by many and turned to martyrs by many others - in his usual unflappable graphic novel style.

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Rick Geary tackles the most controversial case of the 20th century. Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti were accused of robbery and murder, but so many supposedly damning pieces of evidence were questionable that their guilty verdict elicited massive protests around the world. Geary presents readers with all the twists and turns, appeals and dubious evidence after presenting the human faces of the two men - demonised by many and turned to martyrs by many others - in his usual unflappable style.

 

1920s America, two men murder another two men who are carrying payroll money worth $15,000 and make off with it with another three accomplices in a car. With no leads, the police end up arresting a pair of Italian-Americans, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, at 10pm in a streetcar who are "suspicious looking" and upon further investigation are found to be heavily armed. Thus begins a complicated court case which exposes the corruption of the American "justice" system and the prejudices of a country calling itself free.

Rick Geary combs through the past and presents another wonderful book about a famous murder case long forgotten by the modern reader. Geary's style is to show all sides to the case and highlight problems within it, allowing the reader to decide for themselves on the true culprit (if any).

"Sacco and Vanzetti" is mostly the story of a court case gone wrong from unreliable witnesses taken seriously, to evidence tampering, to a prejudicial judge, to the defence's own incompetence, though the book seems to show that Sacco and Vanzetti, if you believe they are innocent as I do, were simply and tragically two men in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The book is a fascinating read from start to finish with Geary telling the story of this case with clarity and eloquence, bringing to life a case over eighty years old with the ease of the master storyteller that he is. Fans of Geary will delight in it, and rightfully so as it's a fine crime book. It might be a bit dry though for new readers to Geary looking for more action - for them I suggest Geary's other books "The Beast of Chicago" and "The Terrible Ax-Man of New Orleans".

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