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The Story of a Proletarian Life

by Bartolomeo Vanzetti

“I am, and will be until the last instant (unless I should discover that I am in error) an anarchist-communist, because I believe that communism is the most humane form of social contract, because I know that only with liberty can man rise, become noble, and complete.”
– Bartolomeo Vanzetti

What experiences shape an anarchist? What is it like to be a member of a visible minority, forced into precarious employment, dangerous working conditions, and poor pay? How does it feel to be framed for one’s beliefs and left fighting for one’s life?

Bartolomeo Vanzetti and his friend Nicola Sacco were sent to the electric chair based on flawed evidence, the victims of red-baiting and anti-Italian bigotry. Vanzetti’s memoir tells a story that remains true to our own time, a story relived daily by workers everywhere, by prisoners, by those who love liberty.

Written by a humble fishmonger, The Story of the Proletarian Life stands out as one of the most moving and humane writings of anarchism.

First published in 1923, translated from the Italian by Eugene Lyons, the story of a “life at the bottom” by the anarchist martyr.

ISBN 1-873605-92-7
32 pp. $2.50