Who was Cesar Chavez? Essay and photographs restore this man to his place in American history.
Chavez has become a hero, an icon, so it’s difficult for people, especially young people, to understand him simply as a man. Esteemed Latin American scholar and writer Ilan Stavans, supported by 40-plus photographs from archival collections at the Cesar Chavez Foundation
, restores this man’s humanity so that readers can understand his struggles as a labor organizer and civil rights activist for farm workers.
The book discusses his growing up and his family; his comadre Dolores Huerta, who stood with him from the beginning; his relationship with Dr. King and other activists in the broader struggles for civil rights for all peoples of color; and his insistence on being an activist for the rights of farm workers when so much media attention was given to the civil rights activists in the cities.
is a nationally respected Jewish-Latino writer and scholar. His story “Morirse está en hebreo
” was made into the award-winning movie My Mexican Shivah produced by John Sayles. His books include Cesar Chavez: An Organizer’s Tale
(Penguin, 2008), Dictionary Days
(Graywolf), The Disappearance
(TriQuarterly) and Resurrecting Hebrew
(Random House). Stavans has received numerous awards, among them a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Jewish Book Award, the Latino Book Award and Chile’s Presidential Medal. He is a Professor in Latin American Culture at Amherst College.