Encyclopedia of Cesar Chavez

The Farm Workers' Fight for Rights and Justice

by Roger Bruns

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April 2013


Pages 344
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Race and Ethnicity/Latino and Hispanic Studies

This book is a unique, single-volume treatment offering original source material on the life, accomplishments, disappointments, and lasting legacy of one of American history's most celebrated social reformers—Cesar Chavez.

Two decades after Cesar Chavez's death, this timely book chronicles the drive for a union of one of American society's most exploited groups—farm workers. Encyclopedia of Cesar Chavez is a valuable one-volume source based on the most recent research and available documentation. Historian Roger Bruns documents how Chavez and his United Farm Workers (UFW), against formidable odds, organized farm laborers into a force that for the first time successfully took on the might of California's agribusiness interests to achieve greater wages and better working conditions.

Set against the backdrop of the 1960s, a time of assassinations, war protests, civil rights battles, and reform efforts for poor and minority citizens, the approximately 100 entries in this encyclopedia provide a glimpse into the events, organizations, men and women, and recurring themes that impacted the life of Cesar Chavez. It also contains a section of primary documentation—useful not only to enhance the understanding of this social and political movement, but also as source material for students.


  • Presents a unique narrative of the events in the life of Chavez and the Farm Workers Movement, as well as original documents and entries on people and events
  • Provides a valuable source of information for tracing attitudes, legislation, and progressive reform efforts in the last half-century, especially in light of the current heated debate over immigration
  • Demonstrates how a determined organizer applied various methods and tactics to accomplish what seemed at the onset of the movement to be a quixotic venture—a relevant lesson for those strategizing to achieve social justice today
Series Description

Movements of the American Mosaic

The Movements of the American Mosaic series explore critical social and political movements that shaped the histories of America's racial and ethnic minority groups. Each volume provides readers with A-Z entries on the people, places, and events important to the movement, key primary documents, and an extensive bibliography.
Author Info

Roger Bruns is a historian and former deputy executive director of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives in Washington, DC. His many published works include Greenwood's Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Movement, Negro Leagues Baseball, and Icons of Latino America: Latino Contributions to American Culture. Bruns has written several biographies for young readers of such figures as Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thomas Jefferson.



"A strong introduction provides a broad historical context for Chavez's life and the United Farm Workers movement. The extensive index provides added access points to topics covered within entries. . . . Summing Up: Recommended."—Choice

"An excellent resource for users interested in this facet of labor history and social reform."—Library Journal

"Informative and interesting . . . a tribute to the work of Cesar Chavez and a reminder of what that work has done to change the world. It is recommended for all libraries."—ARBA

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