All right we are two nations
America our nation has been beaten by strangers who have bought the laws and fenced off the meadows and cut down the woods for pulp and turned our pleasant cities into slums . . .
It has the staccato ring of a contemporary editorial, but the words are from John Dos Passos' U.S.A., circa 1936. The outburst was triggered by the execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists accused of a Massachusetts robbery and killing, and tried in the atmosphere of '20s xenophobia.
The attempts to...