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Monthly Feature - September

United Farm Workers of America

Bibliography | Web Sites

September 8, 1964 marks the beginning of the grape strike in Delano, California. Begun by the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), led by Dolores Huerta and Larry Itliong, the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), led by Cesar Chavez, soon joined the strike. By September 20 more than thirty farms were struck. A nationwide boycott of nonunion grapes followed. The two organizations merged a year later to form the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO. By 1970 most of the table grape growers were organized and the UFW had 50,000 dues paying members.

We have provided a selected Bibliography of materials on the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) and related subjects from the Holt Labor Library collection and useful Web Sites to assist you in your research.


Agribusiness and Its Workers. New York: National Advisory Committee on Farm Labor, 1963. Examination of American agriculture, exposing the who and how of the exploitation of agricultural workers and proposed remedies.

Cesar Chavez Speaks. [Videocassette]. Chicago: Labor Beat Committee for Labor Access, [1993?]. Given April 15, 1993 at the Chicago Cultural Center. Chavez speaks on pesticides, toxics, and the table grape boycott.

Daniel, Cletus E. Bitter Harvest: A History of California Farmworkers, 1870-1941. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1981. Well researched story of the early struggles of California farm workers and the default by the Roosevelt administration and the New Deal.

Galarza, Ernesto. Strangers In Our Fields. Washington, D.C.: Joint United States-Mexico Trade Union Committee, 1956. Report detailing the exploitation of the nearly half million (at the time) contract laborers from Mexico.

Galarza, Ernesto. Spiders In the House and Workers in the Field. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, [1970]. Legal struggle that resulted from the NFWU attempts to organize the DiGiorgio Corporation in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Gamboa, Erasmo. Mexican Labor and World War II: Braceros In the Pacific Northwest, 1942-1947. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990. Study exposes the living and working conditions, low wages, and prejudice.

Golden Lands, Working Hands. [Videocassette]. Oakland, CA: California Federation of Teachers, 1999. A chapter from the 2-part history of the California labor movement chronicles the rise of the United Farm Workers.

Kushner, Sam. Long Road To Delano. New York: International Publishers, 1975. History of the century long struggle of farm workers.

Levy, Jacques E. Cesar Chavez: Autobiography of La Causa. New York: Norton, 1975. The author spent countless hours with Cesar Chavez and nine years working on this extensive biography.

London, Joan and Henry Anderson. So Shall Ye Reap. New York: Crowell, 1970. Profiles of Father Thomas McCullough, Fred Van Dyke, Ernesto Galarza, and Cesar Chavez.

El Malcriado: "The Voice of the Farm Worker." Delano, CA: Farm Worker Press, 1965- . The library holds issue numbers: 21, 24, 29, and 40.

Matthiessen, Peter. Sal Si Puedes: Cesar Chavez and the New American Revolution. New York: Random House, c1969. "a brilliant, angry, inspirational book..." [book jacket].

Mexican-American Reports. [Microfilm]. Sunnyvale, CA: BMI Library Microfilms, [1993?.]. Includes "Report on the Mexican Labor Situation in the Imperial Valley, April 2, 1926.

Nelson, Eugene. Huelga: The First Hundred Days of the Great Delano Grape Strike. Delano, CA: Farm Worker Press, 1966. Account by one of the early picket captains.

Perez, Jose G. Viva la Huelga! New York: Pathfinder Press, c1973. Author covered the United Farm Workers' strike in the Coachella Valley in 1973.

Poverty in the Valley of Plenty. [Videocassette]. Oakland, CA: California Federation of Teachers, [1995?]. Farm workers' strike at the Di Giorgio farm in the San Joaquin Valley in the late 1940s.

Scharlin, Craig and Lilia V. Villanueva. Philip Vera Cruz: A Personal History of Filipino Immigrants and the Farmworkers Movement. Los Angeles: UCLA Labor Center, Institute of Industrial Relations & UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1992. The story of the former vice-president of the UFW.

Street, Richard Steven. Organizing For Our Lives: New Voices From Rural Communities. Portland, OR: NewSage Press and California Rural Legal Assistance, 1992. Celebration of the accomplishments of California's rural residents through photographs and interviews.

Taylor, Paul. On the Ground In the Thirties. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1983. Compilation of reports and articles on labor, agriculture, and Mexican immigration. Includes photographs by the author's wife, Dorothea Lange.

Taylor, Ronald. Chavez and the Farm Workers. Boston: Beacon Press, 1975. History of the UFW and Cesar Chavez, written by an investigative reporter for the "Fresno Bee."

Three Hispanic-American Labor Struggles. [Videocassette]. Chicago: Labor Beat / Committee for Labor Access, [1990?]. The "Grape Boycott Rally - Chicago Loop" covers Cesar Chavez, Studs Terkel, and others at a United Farm Workers rally.

Wrath of Grapes. [Videocassette]. Keene, CA: United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO, 1989. Video documents the dangers of pesticides to farm workers, community, and consumers.

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Web Sites:

Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs - http://www.afop.org/
Provides "information, education, support, advocacy, and representation..." for migrant and seasonal farm workers and their families.

Cesar Chavez Bibliography - http://www.reuther.wayne.edu/use/ufwtitle.html
Extensive bibliography of materials prepared by the Walter P. Reuther Library, home of the UFW official archives, at Wayne State University.

Cesar E. Chavez Institute for Public Policy - http://www.cesarechavezinstitute.org/home/
Established by San Francisco State University to "create a base for academic research on critical issues facing Raza Communities in California..." - includes interviews and audio speeches.

Farmworker Health - http://www.ncfh.org/
From America's Farmworkers web site, provides resources and links related to farm worker health and safety.

Farmworker Movement - (New!) http://www.farmworkermovement.org/
"Cesar Chavez: The Farmworker Movement 1962-1993: Primary Source Accounts By The Volunteers Who Built The Movement."

Farm Labor - http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/FarmLabor/
From the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, includes statistics and labor laws.

Pesticide Action Network (North America) - http://www.igc.apc.org/panna/
"Fields of Poison: California Farmworkers and Pesticides" available in PDF.

United Farm Workers of America - http://www.ufw.org/
Official web pages of the UFW. Includes current newspaper articles on the UFW, history, biographies, speeches, strawberry campaign links, regional offices, etc.

The Holt Labor Library provides these links for your convenience. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, the Holt Labor Library makes no guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the information on these sites, and is not liable for any inaccuracy, error, or omission, regardless of cause.

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Pages created by Shannon Sheppard, MLIS
last revised 03/11/09