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VINE VOICEon September 27, 2011
This author, Ilan Stavans, a Jewish Latino professor at Amherst, has produced several essential works upon this subject whom we must study closely today. This book, published by the CInco Puntos Press in El Paso, I discovered in a tiny bookstore off the plaza in Mesilla, New Mexico which was showing my photography, and I am deeply grateful for it, revisiting a great American Catholic I was honored and awed to meet at Mass in a tiny chapel in Manhattan nearly thirty years ago. This one book is a great place to begin studying this important American, and for me a place to rest and to read once more, with new and unique images, revisiting with new eyes old and hallowed ground.

Professor Stavans also offers us for our nourishment and our strengthening the collection AN Organizer's Tale: Speeches (Penguin Classics). Stavans also has written César Chávez (The Ilan Stavans Library of Latino Civilization),Latino USA: A Cartoon History,Becoming Americans: Four Centuries of Immigrant Writing,Spanglish (The Ilan Stavans Library of Latino Civilization),Delano: The Story of the California Grape Strike, and several other published works, including translations of the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, and iconic nineteenth century Nicaraguan poet Ruben Dario, whose Azul impacted poetry worldwide. Stavans has also produced a number of works in Judaic studies, and a translation of a collection of short stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer in three volumes. Clearly Professor Stavans bears the academic authority deserving, and rewarding, our close attention.

And so, this present volume, as mentioned earlier, an excellent and comprehensive introduction to this great and courageous nonviolent labor leader, Cesar Chavez, friend of Bobby Kennedy and of each one of us who work in the USA, and those millions of us now without work, for, while subtitled a Photographic Essay (instantly therefore additionally appealing to a photographer of Latino streets like myself) but amply texted as well between images, ending with a comprehensive five page chronology interspersed with moving photographs of this noble and forgotten subject.

As a sample of the well selected text which informs these essential images of our history, permit me please to share Professor Stavans presentation of a core philosophy of Cesar Chavez, often called our American Gandhi:

-When people are involved in something constructive, trying to bring about change, they tend to be less violent than those who are not engaged in rebuilding or in anything creative. Nonviolence forces one to be creative; it forces any leader to go to the people and get them involved so that they can come forth with new ideas. I think that once people understand the strength of nonviolence -the force it generates, the love it creates, the respoonse that it brings from the total community -they will not be willing to abandon it so easily.

By nonviolence and fasting and prayer, and direct action Cesar Chavez changed the working conditions of our most ignored and oppressed workers. These advances towards justice and fairness have often been reversed by powerful interests, and workers made illegal in order to oppress them freely, and so this book, this topic of study remains essential for us to hold ever in our sight, so that this not be in vain, and so we achieve at long last the dignity and life and possibility to live that we each merit in America, with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all, for the common welfare.

See also please on this subject César Chávez, the Catholic Bishops, and the Farmworkers' Struggle for Social Justice,The Moral Vision of Cesar Chavez and the many other books here available about him, whom we need now more than ever.
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on July 15, 2010
You don't need to lead a bloody revolution to make a difference. "Cesar Chavez: A Photographic Essay" looks at the work of Cesar Chavez, a man who made his way through life trying to make a better world for the people of Latin America, even across the American border, protesting through non-violence the many practices negatively affecting Latin America. A solid biography through photography, "Cesar Chavez" is a core addition to any photography collection.
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on June 18, 2015
Cesar Chavez a photographic essay by Ilan Stavans gives an extremely intimate and very detailed portrait of Mexican-American activist Cesar Chavez . Cesar Chavez was born to Mexican-American parents in Yuma, Arizona in 1927 . After the eighth grade he l quit school to help support his family doing farm labor. at age 17 he joined the U.S. Navy for 2 years.In 1948 he got married to his wife Helen and eventually had 8 children . In 1952 he became a part of the Community Service Organization a Latino civil rights organization founded by activist Fred Ross,senior .In 1962 with Mexican-American activist Dolors Huerta he founded the National Farm Workers Association;later known as the United Farm Workers Mexican-Americans and Filipino-Americans were two major ethnic groups involved with the farm labor movement in the 20th century .The farm labor movement was an important part of the larger Chicano/Latino civil rights movement.. The Delano Grape Strike that began in 1965 and lasted over 5 years was the first major victory of the farm labor movement headed by Cesar Chavez. Cesar Chavez died in 1993 .He provided decades of leadership to the larger farm worker movement. i highly recommend this excellent book to all readers that have an interest in Cesar Chavez . this book gives a lot of information about his life via photographs,a chronology and highly insightful writings
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