Worse Than The Devil

Author: Dean A. Strang

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 075156625X

Category: True Crime

Page: 288

View: 3356


A bomb explodes in a police station, killing nine officers and a civilian. Those responsible are never caught, but police, press and public are quick to condemn a group of eleven immigrants. This story could have been ripped from today's headlines. In fact, it comes from a 1917 case in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; a miscarriage of justice examined for the first time by Dean Strang, the lawyer whose passionate defence of alleged murderer Steven Avery was at the heart of the hit Netflix series Making a Murderer. Days after the explosion, the eleven suspects went to court on unrelated charges. The spectre of the larger, uncharged crime haunted the proceedings and against the backdrop of the First World War and amid a prevailing hatred and fear of immigrants, a fair trial was impossible. In its focus on a moment when patriotism and terror swept the nation, Worse than the Devil exposes broad concerns that persist today, and failures in the American justice system that will resonate with anyone who has followed the Avery trial.

Facing toward the Dawn

The Italian Anarchists of New London

Author: Richard Lenzi

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438472714

Category: History

Page: 334

View: 7329


Examines the history of the Italian anarchist movement in New London, Connecticut. In the early twentieth century, the Italian American radical movement thrived in industrial cities throughout the United States, including New London, Connecticut. Facing toward the Dawn tells the history of the vibrant anarchist movement that existed in New London’s Fort Trumbull neighborhood for seventy years. Comprised of immigrants from the Marche region of Italy, especially the city of Fano, the Fort Trumbull anarchists fostered a solidarity subculture based on mutual aid and challenged the reigning forces of capitalism, the state, and organized religion. They began as a circle within the ideological camp of Errico Malatesta and evolved into one of the core groupings within the wing of the movement supporting Luigi Galleani. Their manifold activities ranged from disseminating propaganda to participating in the labor movement; they fought fascists in the streets, held countless social events such as festas, theatrical performances, picnics and dances, and hosted militant speakers, including Emma Goldman. Focusing on rank-and-file militants—carpenters, stonemasons, fishermen, housewives—rather than well-known figures, Richard Lenzi offers a microhistory of an ethnic radical group during the heyday of labor radicalism in the United States. He also places that history in the context of the larger radical movement, the Italian American community, and greater American society, as it moved from the Gilded Age to the New Deal and beyond. “This book is the product of some wonderful and groundbreaking historical detective work, and it succeeds in combining two seemingly incongruent genres of history: the local/neighborhood study and the history of transnational migration and radicalism. The result is one of the best and most detailed histories of a single anarchist community written to date. In addition, it makes new and important contributions to the history and background of the Sacco-Vanzetti case, Prohibition, and the history of fascism and anti-fascism in the United States. Scholars and lay readers interested in any of these areas will find this work indispensable.” — Kenyon Zimmer, author of Immigrants against the State: Yiddish and Italian Anarchism in America

Keep the Wretches in Order

America's Biggest Mass Trial, the Rise of the Justice Department, and the Fall of the IWW

Author: Dean Strang

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press

ISBN: 0299323307

Category: Law

Page: 344

View: 1338


Before World War I, the government reaction to labor dissent had been local, ad hoc, and quasi-military. Sheriffs, mayors, or governors would deputize strikebreakers or call out the state militia, usually at the bidding of employers. When the United States entered the conflict in 1917, government and industry feared that strikes would endanger war production; a more coordinated, national strategy would be necessary. To prevent stoppages, the Department of Justice embarked on a sweeping new effort—replacing gunmen with lawyers. The department systematically targeted the nation’s most radical and innovative union, the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies, resulting in the largest mass trial in U.S. history. In the first legal history of this federal trial, Dean Strang shows how the case laid the groundwork for a fundamentally different strategy to stifle radical threats, and had a major role in shaping the modern Justice Department. As the trial unfolded, it became an exercise of raw force, raising serious questions about its legitimacy and revealing the fragility of a criminal justice system under great external pressure.