Today is Cesar Chavez day – the day the great union organizer from California would have turned 87. In 1965, the seasoned organizer took on the fight of his life as he led thousands of poor migrant farmworkers who toiled in the grape fields of Delano to a years long strike and boycott pressuring growers to improve working conditions in their fields.
Chavez’s militant non-violent tactics made him a formidable enemy that has launched him post-humously onto postage stamps, and fictionalized portrayals like in Diego Luna’s new feature film. His impact has also spawned several books, the latest of which is Miriam Pawel’s The Crusades of Cesar Chavez, just published in time for Cesar Chavez Day.
The Library Journal called it a “fully rounded portrait” which “paints a complex portrait of Chavez with all his strengths and weaknesses.”
GUEST: Miriam Pawel, earlier book is The Union of Their Dreams, widely acclaimed as the most nuanced history of Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers movement. She is a Pulitzer Prize winning editor and reporter who spent 25 years at Newsday and the LA Times. She was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to work on her new book, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez
Miriam Pawel will discuss her book on Tuesday April 1st at 7:15 pm at the LA Public Library. She will also speak on a couple of panels at the upcoming LA Times Festival of Books.