An Organizer's Tale: Speeches

Front Cover
Penguin, Apr 29, 2008 - Literary Collections - 288 pages
The first major collection of writings by civil rights leader Cesar Chavez

One of the most important civil rights leaders in American history, Cesar Chavez was a firm believer in the principles of nonviolence, and he effectively employed peaceful tactics to further his cause. Through his efforts, he helped achieve dignity, fair wages, benefits, and humane working conditions for hundreds of thousands of farm workers. This extensive collection of Chavez's speeches and writings chronicles his progression and development as a leader, and includes previously unpublished material. From speeches to spread the word of the Delano Grape Strike to testimony before the House of Representatives about the hazards of pesticides, Chavez communicated in clear, direct language and motivated people everywhere with an unflagging commitment to his ideals.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: An Organizer's Tale: Speeches

User Review  - José-antonio Orosco - Goodreads

An excellent collection of Chavez's speeches that will hopefully make his message of nonviolent social change more accessible to the American public. Check out the wonderful essay "What is Democracy ... Read full review


Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
An Organizers Tale
We Shall Overcome
On the NFWA
A Penitential Procession
At Riverside Church
At Exposition Park
On Money
Why Delano
To Be a Man is to Suffer for Others
Do We Exist?
Regaining the Strength
Nan Freeman

The Plan of Delano
An Organizers Tale
Recapping the Mission
An Age of Miracles
Chicanos and the Church
After the Fast
Before the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare
Good Friday Letter
Creative Nonviolence
Before the House of Representatives
The Union and the Strike
Sharing the Wealth
No More Cathedrals
At Harvard
Jesuss Friendship
An Assortment of Responses
Forty Acres
Twenty Days in Jail
Nothing Has Changed
Juan de la Cruz
In Coachella
After a Bus Accident
Before the Automobile Workers
The Chavez Mystique
Martin Luther King Jr I
Martin Luther King Jr II
Rufino Contreras
What Is Democracy?
René López
Before the 7th UFWA Constitutional Convention
At the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco
Wrath of Grapes
At Pacific Lutheran University
On Public Schools
Sal Si Puedes
Juana Estrada Chavez
Fred Ross

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Cesar Chavez was a civil rights and labor leader, a farmworker, a crusader for nonviolent social change, and an environmentalist and consumer advocate. He was born on March 31, 1927, near his family's farm in Yuma, Arizona. His family lost their farm in the Great Depression and later became migrant farmworkers when Chavez was ten. Throughout his youth and into his adulthood, Chavez migrated across the American Southwest, laboring in the fields and vineyards where he was exposed to the injustices of farmworker life. After achieving only an eighth-grade education, Chavez left school to support his family. Chavez's life as a community organizer began in 1952, when he joined the Community Service Organization (CSO), a prominent Latino civil rights group. While with the CSO, he coordinated voter registration drives and conducted campaigns against racial and economic discrimination primarily in urban areas. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Chavez served as the CSO's national director. Chavez died in 1993 at the age of 66.

Ilan Stavans is the author of numerous short stories and more than 15 works of nonfiction, including Quixote: The Novel and the World and Resurrecting Hebrew. His many awards and honors include an Emmy nomination, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pablo Neruda Medal, and the National Jewish Book Award (for his anthology The Schocken Book of Modern Sephardic Literature)He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture and the Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor at Amherst College.

Bibliographic information