|| A dramatic new history of César Chávez and the rise and fall of the United Farm Workers.
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 farmworkers 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 famous and controversial leader, Cesar Chavez. Drawing on many years of interviews—with farmworkers, organizers, friends and opponents of the UFW—Frank Bardacke tells a story of collective action and political power rich in evocative detail and stirring human interest. Beginning with the influence 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 farmworker, Trampling Out the Vintage is a dramatic reappraisal of the political trajectory of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, and an essential reevaluation of their most tumultuous years.