Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century

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Univ of California Press, Sep 28, 2010 - History - 347 pages
Cesar Chavez is the most prominent Latino in United States history books, and much has been written about Chavez and the United Farm Worker's heyday in the 1960s and '70s. But left untold has been their ongoing impact on 21st century social justice movements. Beyond the Fields unearths this legacy, and describes how Chavez and the UFW's imprint can be found in the modern reshaping of the American labor movement, the building of Latino political power, the transformation of Los Angeles and California politics, the fight for environmental justice, and the burgeoning national movement for immigrant rights. Many of the ideas, tactics, and strategies that Chavez and the UFW initiated or revived—including the boycott, the fast, clergy-labor partnerships and door-to-door voter outreach—are now so commonplace that their roots in the farmworkers' movement is forgotten.

This powerful book also describes how the UFW became the era's leading incubator of young activist talent, creating a generation of skilled alumni who went on to play critical roles in progressive campaigns. UFW volunteers and staff were dedicated to furthering economic justice, and many devoted their post-UFW lives working for social change. When Barack Obama adopted “Yes We Can” as his 2008 campaign theme, he confirmed that the spirit of “Si Se Puede” has never been stronger, and that it still provides the clearest roadmap for achieving greater social and economic justice in the United States.
 

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Contents

The UFW Boycott Transformed
51
Reviving the Fast
75
Miamis Janitors Struggle for Justice
97
The UFW Battles Pesticides
121
Legislative
142
The LaborLatino Alliance
165
Sí Se Puede
193
The Immigrant Rights Movement Explodes
226
The Decline of the UFW
249
The Ongoing
268
Notes
305
Index
335
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Randy Shaw is the Director of San Francisco's Tenderloin Housing Clinic, and is Editor of the online daily newspaper, BeyondChron.org. His previous books are The Activist's Handbook and Reclaiming America, both from UC Press.

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