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A ?vivid, well-documented account of the farmworkers movement?(Philadelphia Inquirer) and its prime mover, Cesar Chavez. Edited by Diana Hembree with a foreword by Gary Soto and essays by Carey McWilliams, Victor Villase?or, Alfredo V?a, Jr., Peter Matthiessen, Rudolfo Anaya, and others. Black-and-white photographs throughout.
Accompanying a PBS documentary of the same name, The Fight in the Fields tells the dramatic story of ...
A “vivid, well-documented account of the farmworkers movement”(Philadelphia Inquirer) and its prime mover, Cesar Chavez. Edited by Diana Hembree with a foreword by Gary Soto and essays by Carey McWilliams, Victor Villaseñor, Alfredo Véa, Jr., Peter Matthiessen, Rudolfo Anaya, and others. Black-and-white photographs throughout.
Accompanying a PBS documentary of the same name, The Fight in the Fields tells the dramatic story of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union, both in words and in powerful photographs, many previously unpublished. 288 pp. National ads & publicity.
Written by two California journalists who are veterans in covering farm labor issues and agribusiness, this companion volume to a PBS documentary reflects a vivid appreciation of how Chavez's organizing activities, dating from 1962, enabled one of society's most vulnerable worker groups to assert dignity, claim rights, and ultimately change a powerful industry's whole way of doing business. Chavez himself came from a farming family that lost its land and was forced into the migrant farmworkers ranks during the Depression. The book highlights Chavez's unique ability to define issues in a way that linked haves and have-nots in effective coalitions that gained national prominence, a pride in his Mexican heritage that did not inhibit his ability to work in multiracial coalitions (notably with Filipino immigrant workers), and his Gandhi-inspired skill in playing power politics without ceding the moral high ground. Unfortunately, these themes are more often stated than explored and illuminated. But the book's strength lies in its collecting the observations of so many contemporary movement eyewitnesses and presenting portraits of an array of Chavez's lifelong friends and comrades (among them Delores Huerta, the teacher and divorced mother of seven who became the United Farm Worker Union's shrewd and tough lead contract negotiator). In addition, the book acknowledges conflicts within the UFW rooted in the tensions between its nuts-and-bolts functioning as a labor union and its impact as the hub of a visionary social movement.
This strives to be candid and intimate, yet ultimately its commentary fails to break through the commemorative into the kind of real analysis that would have revealed more of the man behind the movement icon.