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“In this sympathetic yet courageously honest narrative, a seasoned reporter presents the history behind the legend of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers Movement. At the same time, Miriam Pawel pays tribute to the dreams of a generation of young Americans dedicated to social justice and the dignity of labor.”—Kevin Starr, University of Southern California, author of Golden Dreams and California: A History
“This incisive and sensitive study makes a major contribution to our understanding of Cesar Chavez and the poor people’s movement he led. Moving beyond hagiography and mythology, Miriam Pawel gives new insight into the heroic struggles of some of the ordinary people who committed themselves, against unimaginable odds, to an extraordinary cause.”—David G. Gutiérrez, University of California, San Diego
“The Union of Their Dreams captures in fascinating detail the human stories of diverse people and how they committed themselves to the movement. It also reveals the tensions and dissensions that were a part of the union and its leadership after the early years of its formation. This is an interesting and provocative book that expands our understanding of the union from inside out.”—Albert M. Camarillo, Stanford University
“Avoiding polemic or sensationalism, The Union of Their Dreams recounts for the first time how a cult of personality around Cesar Chavez (influenced by the practices of the sinister Synanon organization) ultimately betrayed the courage of the workers in the fields and the trust of a veteran organizing staff. The stories of lost campaigns and internal purges are painful, but they also transmit hugely important lessons about the necessary dialectic of militancy and democracy in labor struggles.”—Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz
“Miriam Pawel combines the skills of an historian and an investigative reporter to tell the story of the remarkable people upon whose dreams the farm worker movement was established, moved forward, and forever changed the nation.”—William Deverell, Director, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
“Anyone interested in political idealism, trade unions, leadership, mass movements, and even the Barack Obama phenomenon will have much to think about after reading this enthralling account of great accomplishment gained and lost.”—Nicholas von Hoffman, author of Hoax and Citizen Cohn