I feel weird moving on and doing more mundane blog entries after writing about Josie here, and after seeing everyone sharing their memories of Josie. Thanks everyone. I'm glad to provide a space for reminiscing about our friend. I still miss her.
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In most of the hours that make up my days though, I am just plugging away on book revisions, which brings me to today's history website recommendation.
The FBI's FOIA idexes and files are now up online. So you can read as many FBI reports on the Sacco-Vanzetti defense committee as the bureau allows, which is a somewhat substantial number.
As a historian of the left, I've looked at a lot of FBI files in my time, and I'll say that despite their mystique, they are not such good sources. Often, they are just big clippings files. Very often, they spell people's names incorrectly, which just makes me doubt their seriousness. They get various sects and groups hopelessy confused too, and sometimes, I don't know what those secret informants are smokin.
However, occasionally there is something intriguing. Today, in secton 6a I came across a memo to J. Edgar Hoover (the first such memo to that personnage I've come across so far) suggesting that in 1922, Fred Moore, Sacco and Vanzetti's attorney had "solved the case" in S. Braintree. This is interesting 1) because you'd think that since the Bureau supported the Mass DA that they thought the case was already solved and 2) I may find some other info about it in the correspondence of said lawyer in my own old notes. And no, the Aldino Felicani collectionof Sacco and Vanzetti's papers is not available on line. It's not even on microfilm. More's the pity.