The Crusades of César Chávez: A Biography
October 9, 2014
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
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A book presentation by Miriam Pawel...
In the first comprehensive biography of Chavez, Miriam Pawel offers a searching yet empathetic portrayal. Chavez emerges here as a visionary whose eyes were fixed on a horizon others often could not even see. He was a brilliant strategist who sometimes stumbled, and a canny, streetwise organizer whose pragmatism was often at odds with his elusive, soaring dreams. Drawing on thousands of documents, hundreds of hours of audiotapes, and scores of interviews, this superbly written life deepens our understanding of one of Chavez’s most salient qualities: his profound humanity.
Pawel traces Chavez’s remarkable rise as he empowered the poor and disenfranchised and led farmworkers to historic victories over the powerful agriculture industry. With compassion and compelling detail, she narrates the equally dramatic later years when Chavez’s charismatic leadership devolved into a cult of personality, with heartbreaking consequences for the union he had built. The Crusades of Cesar Chavez reveals how this most unlikely American hero ignited one of the great social movements of our time – and left a legacy that resonates today from California to the White House.
About the author…
Miriam Pawel is the author of The Union of Their Dreams, widely acclaimed as the most nuanced history of Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers. She is a Pulitzer-winning editor who spent twenty-five years working for Newsday and the Los Angeles Times. She was recently awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, and lives in Southern California.
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