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The Moral Vision of Cesar Chavez Paperback – February 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570754586
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570754586
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,487,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Walters VINE VOICE on January 2, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Frederick John Dalton is to be congratulated for this beautifully written and spiritually inspiring study of the moral vision that underlay Cesar Chavez's activism. Following in the tradition of Jesus, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement, and the Berrigan brothers, Chavez's orientation was biblical to the core. He preached and practiced nonviolent resistance, personal and group sacrifice, the transformative power of love and forgiveness, and individual prayer and meditation as essential tools in working for peace and justice. Unlike so many activists then and now, Chavez wasn't concerned with protesting and demonstrating just to say "No." More fundamentally, he was interested in working for social and economic conditions that would affirm people with a resounding "Yes!" Chavez's deep faith in God and the Gospel of justice and peace grounded that "Yes" and made it truly prophetic. As he himself said, "What keeps me going? Well, it's like a fire--a consuming, nagging everyday and every-moment demand of my soul to just do it. It's difficult to explain. I like to think it's the good Spirit asking me to do it. I hope so...If you really want something, you have to sacrifice. Because of my faith the concept of sacrifice is understood" (p. 162).
This is a must-read for anyone who yearns to integrate a passion for social justice with a deep, mystical faith in God. Cesar showed us, as all genuine mystics do, that the two are not only incompatible but necessarily conjoined. Dalton's sensitive and well-written study has done Chavez proud.
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By arbornet on March 29, 2014
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I have read several books on Cesar Chavez, and this by far the best. Most other authors focus on his role as a labor leader, but Dalton's book provides a different and refreshing perspective. I was concerned initially that the book would delve into obscure details of Catholic theology, but it takes a wider view of influences on Chavez, particularly his boyhood. The book occasionally becomes a shade scholarly, but generally is very accessible. There are a few factual errors in the last chapter, but otherwise Dalton's book is well researched and documented. Highly recommended if you are interested in the spiritual side of Cesar Chavez.
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Cesar Chavez has been likened to the American Gandhi, using the powerful tools of nonviolence, including fasting with prayer and mass mobilizations, to affect political change, labor rights and human rights for his people, our people, for Americans now again forgotten, rejected, despised, blockaded, dispossessed. We need him now. We need him again. Read this book. Be him now.

Published by the excellent Catholic printing house Orbis Books, this biography was written by a professor of moral theology at Holy Rosary College in San Jose who briefly and intermittently volunteered for the UFW after the death of Cesar Chavez, whom he had seen once deliver a speech.

I met Mr. Chavez a few times nearly twenty five years ago at Mass in the tiny chapel of the Maryknoll House in Manhattan, as he was visiting during conferences in New York. Mr. Chavez was ever a faithful and a profoundly practicing Catholic, inspired by our Faith to work for peace and justice and labor and human rights for the most poor and despised, just as Our Holy Father His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI recently exhorts us in Sacramentum Caritatis: el Sacramento de la Caridad: una Exhortacion Apostolica Postsinodal that the Eucharist in itself compels us to alter the unjust economic structures which entrap so many of us in desparate poverty.

Ceasr Chavez therefore inspires and guides all Americans and all Catholics in the true realization of living our Faith integrally. Professor of Moral Theology Dalton here examines deeply the life of Mr. Chavez, exploring his moral vision and his true path in Faith.
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