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

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9780804738804: Beasts of the Field: A Narrative History of California Farmworkers, 1769-1913

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―the emergence of migratory farmworkers and the development of California agriculture. Street has systematically worked his way through a mountain of archival materials―more than 500 manuscript collections, scattered in 22 states, including Spain and Mexico―to 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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About the Author:

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.

Review:

". . . [Street] has produced a work of monumental scholarship." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

"Richard Street's two books offer a new benchmark in the history of agricultural labor, with a perceptive, fascinating Californian focus. Only 1,283 pages? I wanted to look and read further." (Anthropology of Work Review)

"[Street's] meticulous research comes alive with his passionate prose as he documents the march of history from the "bottom up" in the tradition of E.P. Thompson's The History of the English Working Class.―California History

"In Beasts of the Field, [Street] synthesizes thirty years of research into a compelling and highly readable account written with insight and empathy." (History Workshop Journal)

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Book Description 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 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 .Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 904 pages. 1.569. Bookseller Inventory # 9780804738804

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