Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dedicated book collector amasses quite a library on Sacco and Vanzetti in pursuit of a master's degree in literature

Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left) and Nicola Sacco were convicted of murder and executed in an electric chair. 
Now here's an interesting book collecting story that just showed up. There's a young lady at the University of Kansas who is working on a master's degree in English literature, and she has amassed a collection of books on Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the Italian immigrants who many believe were railroaded in the 1920s, convicted of murder and executed.

A feature in the Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas chronicles Megan Jones' book acquisition efforts in pursuit of her advanced degree. She now has about 40 books in her collection, most of which she says she needs for her master's thesis and an earlier undergraduate thesis at Indiana University.

In her collection is a four-volume set containing the court trial transcript, books making an argument for the release of the pair, one book making a case for their guilt, and volumes of their letters from prison proclaiming their innocence. There's also a historical novel with the case as a backdrop. Perhaps her favorite possession is Facing the Chair: Story of the Americanization of Two Foreignborn Workmen, a pamphlet by John Dos Passos, the novelist, one of many famous people who took up their cause.

Quite a collection, and Megan Jones isn't finished yet. She won a national award for her collection and received a $1,000 prize. What did she do with it? Bought more Sacco and Vanzetti books, of course. That's dedication we like to see.

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