Trampling Out the Vintage

Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers

By Frank Bardacke
(Verso, Hardcover, 9781844677184, 848pp.)

Publication Date: October 24, 2011

List Price: $54.95*
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Description

The slogan “Yes we can”—in the form “¡Sí Se Puede!”—doesn’t originate with Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. It goes back more than four decades to the heyday of the United Farm Workers, an organization that at its height won many labor victories, secured collective bargaining rights for California farm workers and became a major voice for the Latino community, which was previously excluded from national politics. The UFW was once a transformative political force of a kind now largely lost in contemporary America.

Trampling Out the Vintage is the authoritative account of the rise and fall of the United Farm Workers and its most famous and controversial leader, Cesar Chavez. Based on many years of interviews—with farm workers, organizers, and the opponents and friends of the UFW—the book tells a story of collective action and empowerment rich in evocative detail and stirring human interest. Beginning with the influence of the ideas of Saul Alinsky and Catholic Social Action at the union’s founding, through the UFW’s thrilling triumphs in the California fields, the drama concludes with the debilitating internal struggles that left the union a shadow of its former self.

A vivid rendering of farm work and the world of the farm worker, Trampling Out the Vintage is a dramatic reappraisal of the political trajectory of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers and an essential re-evaluation of their most tumultuous years.




About the Author

Frank Bardacke was active in the student and anti-war movements in Berkeley in the 1960s. He moved to California’s Central Coast in 1970, worked for six seasons in the Salinas Valley fields, and taught at Watsonville Adult School for twenty-five years. He is the author of <a href="http://www.versobooks.com/books/1202-trampling-out-the-vintage">Trampling Out the Vintage: Cesar Chavez and the Two Souls of the United Farm Workers</a>, Good Liberals and Great Blue Herons: Land, Labor and Politics in the Pajaro Valley, and a translator of Shadows of Tender Fury: The Letters and Communiqués of Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

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