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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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"If the Documentation Project could enforce a required reading list, Randy Shaw's Beyond the Fields would top the list. For former UFW Volunteers, whether their service was one month, one year, or a decade, Randy Shaw's book is a MUST READ."—LeRoy Chatfield, Farmworkers Documentation Project
"An important, stunningly original, and forcefully argued book."—Ruth Milkman, Director of the UCLA Institute of Industrial Relations and author of L.A. Story: Immigrant Workers and the Future of the U.S. Labor Movement
"The most powerful social earthquake in California history struck the farm town of Delano in 1965 and, as Randy Shaw explains in this fascinating, invaluable study, its aftershocks are still shaking workplaces and elections across America."—Mike Davis, author of In Praise of Barbarians
"Offers a powerful and moving account of how the UFW transformed people's lives, instilling a lifetime commitment to social justice. Shaw shows how the spirit, strategies, and tactics of the UFW in its heyday still provide workers, immigrants, faith-based activists and others seeking social justice with a roadmap to win local struggles and national campaigns. If you want to understand the roots of 'Si se Puede' (Yes, We Can), read this book."—Fred Ross, Jr, UFW community and labor organizer
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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