Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913

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Stanford University Press, 2004 - Business & Economics - 904 pages
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Written by one of America's preeminent labor historians, this book is the definitive account of one of the most spectacular, captivating, complex and strangely neglected stories in Western history葉he emergence of migratory farmworkers and the development of California agriculture.

Street has systematically worked his way through a mountain of archival materials洋ore than 500 manuscript collections, scattered in 22 states, including Spain and Mexico葉o follow the farmworker story from its beginnings on Spanish missions into the second decade of the twentieth century. The result is a comprehensive tour de force. Scene by scene, the epic narrative clarifies and breathes new life into a controversial and instructive saga long surrounded by myth, conjecture, and scholarly neglect.

With its panoramic view spanning 144 years and moving from the US-Mexico border to Oregon, Beasts of the Field reveals diverse patterns of life and labor in the fields that varied among different crops, regions, time periods, and racial and ethic groups.

Enormous in scope, packed with surprising twists and turns, and devastating in impact, this compelling, revelatory work of American social history will inform generations to come of the history of California and the nation.

  

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Contents

BOOK ONE FOUNDATIONS IN CONQUEST
1
Contents
4
Chapter
21
Chapter Three
38
BOOK TWO THE MEANING OF FREE LABOR
87
Chapter
115
Chapter Seven
135
BOOK THREE GOLDEN HARVEST
159
Chapter Sixteen
371
BOOK FIVE JAPANESE FARMWORKERS
405
Chapter Eighteen
440
Chapter Nineteen
470
Chapter Twenty
497
BOOK SIX BINDLEMEN
525
Chapter TwentyTwo
548
Chapter TwentyThree
572

Chapter Nine
178
Chapter
205
BOOK FOUR IMMIGRANTS FROM THE EAST
233
Chapter Twelve
258
Chapter Thirteen
286
Chapter Fifteen
334
Abbreviations
629
Notes
635
Acknowledgments
871
Index
877
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Richard Steven Street is an independent scholar and writer. He has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and has also been a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. He earned his doctorate in American labor history at the University of Wisconsin, and has been an award-winning photographer and journalist specializing in California agriculture and agricultural labor. He is the author of Organizing for Our Lives: New Voices from Rural Communities (1992). He is currently finishing a multivolume history of California farmworkers.

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