The Combat Zone (Kobo eBook)

The Combat Zone By Jan Brogan Cover Image
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The story of a Harvard student’s murder in 1970s Boston amid racial strife and rampant corruption, told with “careful reporting and historical context” (Providence Journal).

Shortlisted for the 2021 Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction and the 2022 Anthony Award for Best Critical or Nonfiction Work

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. The 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.

“The grim history of racism in Boston, the crime and corruption of the Combat Zone, and the legal permutations of the case take up the bulk of the book. But its heart lies in a character who wasn’t even in the Combat Zone that fateful night—the victim’s brother, Danny Puopolo.” —Providence Journal

Includes photographs

Product Details
ISBN-13: 9781613768853
Publisher: Bright Leaf
Publication Date: September 24th, 2021