The chapter, titled "The Muckraker: How a Lost Letter Revealed Upton Sinclair's Deception," tells the story of influential socialist author Upton Sinclair, whose "Boston," a "documentary novel" published in 1928 on the case, sought to absolve anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti of the crime of murder at a shoe factory in Braintree, MA in 1920.
Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left), handcuffed to Nicola Sacco (right). Dedham, Massachusetts Superior Court, 1923.
This photo was taken in 1923 when Sacco was on the 23rd day of a hunger strike. (Image Source: Boston Public Library)
Sacco and Vanzetti, while found guilty and executed, were defended by leftists in America and throughout the world, with Joseph Stalin himself honoring the pair through christening two naval vessels after each of the men, renaming streets in major Russian cities after the men and printing hundreds of thousands of copies of their collected writings from jail in Russian. [Note: SPOILER ALERT COMING]
Sinclair was perhaps Sacco and Vanzetti's most prominent American supporter, and while his "Boston" argued for their innocence, the it would be discovered in a letter decades later that in effect Sinclair had seen evidence indicating that Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty, and lied about it in "Boston" to further the socialist cause.
Glenn Beck took to Facebook to ask readers four questions about the story, per the below post:
Here are some of the most insightful responses from you, the reader:
1. "[H]e issued the book and God made sure that the truth was always stronger than the lie"
1) He should have written the book with every detail regardless of how it effected his cause.
2) He probably wrote it as a safety net in case he was "found out" for printing a false report. It was probably why he sent it to his lawyer. The fact that he admitted his error in private does not redeem him when he issued a lie in such a public forum.
3) YES. I'm sure it was not a pretty scenario, but if he was willing to lie to further his cause in BOSTON, he would certainly have had no problem lying in THE JUNGLE.
4) I think BOSTON has done nothing to benefit his cause. I think he issued the book and God made sure that the truth was always stronger than the lie. More people knew the truth internally than anyone that could have "learned the lie" by reading BOSTON. As for people today taking advantage of others, look at Ferguson, immigration, tax payers, etc. It is everywhere!
2. "[W]e use events or people and twist them to suit our own agenda. Both sides do it. And most of the time it is wrong."
1) putting my self in his shoes I feel like scrapping the book all together would be the better option. Yes it would hurt you but save your cause. If it were me...I like telling the truth no matter what.
2) maybe a moment of guilt or maybe to cover his butt. I don't know? I would like to believe he had a conscience.
3) oh yes! I know working conditions during that time was horrific but in my experience people who embellished stories to suit their causes do it more than once.
4) I think it turned 2 terrible people into heroes. You can see parallels today with the way the media and the left portrayed business owners as evil money grubbing tyrants. Or even what's going on in MO where a police officer is demonized for doing his job. These are just a few examples of how we use events or people and twist them to suit our own agenda. Both sides do it. And most of the time it is wrong.
3. "Unfortunately, the tactics employed for the last 100+ years surface frequently with the "Never let a good crisis go to waste" mantra seen on both political sides. The Progressives are just the ones that seem best at it!"
1) Of course, Sinclair should've rewritten his book to tell the truth, but that was never going to happen due to his devotion to the cause of Socialism.
2) Most likely his one sleepless night caused Sinclair to write the letter with the truth. This was the 1929 version of CYA (cover your a*#) and then he went on with the charade with no damage to his reputation.
3) Though I'm sure the meat packing industry was, and is, a grisly one, I have no doubt Sinclair would've used hyperbole whenever needed to drive home his desired points in THE JUNGLE.
4) In the long run, any help given to the Socialist cause by BOSTON, was likely a mere blip on the radar. Unfortunately, the tactics employed for the last 100+ years surface frequently with the "Never let a good crisis go to waste" mantra seen on both political sides. The Progressives are just the ones that seem best at it!
4. "He went into the meat packing industry with an agenda. He needed that agenda to be met."
1) He should have dropped the book entirely. His whole reason for writing the book was shot once he discovered the truth.
2) To get better answer, I think we would have to know more about the lawyer he wrote to. Who was he? Did he specialize? No it didn't redeem him. Just the opposite. He knew the truth, but withheld it because of the damage it could do to his cause.
3) He went into the meat packing industry with an agenda. He needed that agenda to be met. I wouldn't be surprised if he initiated violations in order to expose them in his book.
4) The whole idea that the justice system is unjust. The real criminals are the corporations. These thoughts could possibly be tied back to BOSTON. Today we see it in the idea of never letting a tragedy go to waste.
5. "[H]istory shows the truth eventually wins"
1) "A", because history shows the truth eventually wins, and reason and convenience shows that we should desire to be as much on the winning side as possible.
2) The first answer kind of answers the second. Sinclair's writing of the letter underscores a contradiction within himself. The letter was like step 1 of an Anonymous program, admitting he has a problem. Thus, it was only the start of his redemption, which tosses up at least one more question.
3) No. I was already skeptical. He instinctively avoided anything that might disprove his logic, and only tried to find confirmation.
4) The worst lies are based loosely on facts, and their fatal flaw is when they are compared to undeniable facts. Upton Sinclair got cornered by one, which led him to the extreme option of assuming the right to mislead and even lie to people, just like the architect of Obamacare today. These two are among history's most glaring examples of what someone would do to advance a cause that goes against absolute truths, but certainly not the only two.
6. "I'm still trying to 're-learn history'. But the current parallels are endless."
1) Truth of course. I don't know how that's even up for discussion in this group.
2) Sinclair was a writer who had a moment of weakness possibly brought on by guilt. He wrote it down, it's what he does. I think in reflection he saw potential for either more fame (which he craved almost as much as the cause) or it would further the cause somehow. So he made sure to save it. My mind doesn't work that way so I can't fathom how. And no, "not to speak is to speak." I don't think I need to finish that quote for anyone here.
3) If I were to ever read THE JUNGLE I would be absolutely skeptical. I would have been skeptical despite BOSTON's lies. All accusatory writing should be viewed critically and validated heavily.
4) I can't really say whether I think BOSTON helped the cause. I'm still trying to 're-learn history'. But the current parallels are endless. Think about every gun tragedy (just for starters, Ferguson, Trayvon, Sandy Hook) that Bloomberg and his minions pounce on.
7. "Valuable lesson for us all"
I studied this case in high school in the early 80's. My teacher presented the evidence that made them appear innocent and sympathetic. Only after we passed our judgment did he bring out the suppressed evidence. Valuable lesson for us all
8. "If one tries to bury a sin inside, it keeps leaking out and never leaves you."
1) If it were me, I would have changed the book. But with Sinclair's ego and investment in the "cause", there was no way he would have changed it.
2) I think he was really bothered by the fact he lied. If one tries to bury a sin inside, it keeps leaking out and never leaves you. So I think he wanted the truth to come out, but without the inconvenience and embarrassment of having it done in his lifetime. And no, it doesn't redeem him.
3) Yes. Because now everything he did is suspect. He showed he had no integrity.
4) Just look at Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Al actually caused the death of a clothing store proprietor in New York. He didn't care. If he could, he probably would write a book to promote the cause. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for us, he's not that talented. Sinclair was talented and used it to further his cause. But now as long as you have the media behind you, you can pretty much achieve the same end.
9. "[D]id Mr. Sinclair write it for future generations to see how he personally helped contribute to the cause?"
1) He should have told the truth. It sounds to me that he bowed to “peer pressure” and wrote what his “gang” wanted to read, not necessarily the truth that he uncovered.
2) I do not think that Sinclair is redeemed because of writing the letter. I read the letter more as his discovery path to the facts of the case, but then he twists the facts to prove his point. He knew that the defense’s case was not accurate, but somehow he twisted that to mean that the whole case was not fair, therefore the two men were not truly proven guilty. (top pg 283) This helped him rationalize writing the book. And the fact that the two men did not steel for themselves, but instead gave all their ill-gotten gains to the movement. After reading this letter, I wonder, did Mr. Sinclair write it for future generations to see how he personally helped contribute to the cause? Of coarse assuming that those generations of people are truly-converted Marxists, therefore would applaud his actions.
3) I never read any of Mr. Sinclair’s works. I would probably be skeptical of any of his works now.
4) I am honestly not sure. For as long as I can remember, opportunists do take advantage of any situation or event and try to mold it for their own agenda. Ferguson, school issues resulting in Common Core, Gamergate, etc.
10. "[A] private admission does not redeem a very public deception"
2) The last vestiges of conscience motivated Sinclair to fess-up! No, a private admission does not redeem a very public deception.
3) Yes, and when I recall the premise of THE JUNGLE, it is abundantly clear that it too is based on a fallacious foundation.
4) BOSTON advanced the socialist agenda by furthering an erroneous socialist argument. Parallels include...
- GruberGate (the govt took advantage of the "stupidity" of the American people to force their agenda through on us)
- AARP (promoting ACA on false premise it would help the people)
- Revs Sharpton, Jackson, Farrakhan, NAACP, etc. (because "America is racist!" Smh)
- ACLU (because "America is not a Christian nation!" Smh)
- CAIR (because "America is Islamiphobic!" Smh)
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