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The Combat Zone; Murder, Race and Boston’s Struggle for Justice
At the end of the 1976 football season, more than forty Harvard athletes went to Boston's Combat Zone to celebrate. In the city's adult entertainment district, drugs and prostitution ran rampant, violent crime was commonplace, and corrupt police turned the other way. At the end of the night, Italian American star athlete Andy Puopolo, raised in the city's North End, was murdered in a stabbing. Three African American men were accused of the crime. His murder made national news and led to the eventual demise of the city's red-light district.

Starting with this brutal murder, The Combat Zone tells the story of the Puopolo family's struggle with both a devastating loss and a criminal justice system that produced two trials with opposing verdicts, all within the context of a racially divided Boston. Brogan traces the contentious relationship between Boston's segregated neighborhoods during the busing crisis; shines a light on a court system that allowed lawyers to strike potential jurors based purely on their racial or ethnic identity; and lays bare the deep-seated corruption within the police department and throughout the Combat Zone. What emerges is a fascinating snapshot of the city at a transitional moment in its recent past.

Jan Brogan will join MASSterList's Craig Sandler for a thought-provoking discussion about the book on Wednesday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m. Audience members are encouraged to read the book in advance and come prepared with questions.

Save 30% when you buy your copy of the book from UMass Press. Use code MAS041 at checkout (https://www.umasspress.com/9781625346094/the-combat-zone/)

Dec 8, 2021 07:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Jan Brogan
The Author
Jan Brogan is an award-winning author and journalist with over 30 years of experience chronicling New England. She has worked as a correspondent for the Boston Globe, a staff writer for the Worcester Telegram and the Providence Journal, where she won the Gerald Loeb award for distinguished business writing. The Combat Zone, Murder, Race and Boston's Struggle for Justice is her fifth published book. Brogan's 2005 mystery, A Confidential Source, is currently under development for a television series. Other titles include Final Copy, Yesterday's Fatal, and Teaser. She is a graduate of Boston University and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Craig Sandler
As co-owner of the State House News Service, Craig Sandler has been following Massachusetts civic life and government closely for more than 30 years. In addition to his career at the News Service, he's also been State House reporter for the TAB Newspapers and political report for the Lowell Sun. He founded the News Service of Florida in 2008. Sandler, who lives in Lexington with his wife and daughter, is the author of the Illustrated Timeline of Inventions, published in 2007. He's also the editor of the Massachusetts Almanac, and is currently co-authoring a book on the 1941 baseball season with his father, award-winning history writer Martin W. Sandler.