Labor historian reviews lessons from union movement

Historians in the News

"From the Jaws of Victory: The Triumph and Tragedy of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement" takes a critical look at Chavez and the rapid rise and fall of the United Farm Workers agricultural union he guided.

Labor historian Matt Garcia defends his assessment as a search for "usable knowledge" for future organizing, and a way to "hold the UFW leadership accountable to the thousands of farmworkers who were let down by the union's retreat from the fields."

In 1960, there was no union for California grape pickers. By 1970, fully 12,000 were members of the UFW, Garcia reports. "From the Jaws of Victory" concludes with this sobering fact: "Today not one field worker laboring on grape farms in California is covered by a labor contract."...

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