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Farmers' and farm workers' movements : social protest in American agriculture

Author: Patrick H Mooney; Theo J Majka
Publisher: New York : Twayne Publishers, ©1995.
Series: Social movements past and present.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In this comprehensive overview of the fascinating and rich history of the struggles of farmers and farm workers, Patrick H. Mooney and Theo J. Majka highlight the drama of certain events and the courage and charisma of the individuals who have participated in these movements.
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Mooney, Patrick H.
Farmers' and farm workers' movements.
New York : Twayne Publishers, ©1995
(OCoLC)652412164
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Patrick H Mooney; Theo J Majka
ISBN: 080573869X 9780805738698 0805738703 9780805738704
OCLC Number: 30508184
Description: xxxi, 260 pages ; 23 cm.
Contents: 1. The Colonial Period to the Civil War --
2. Response to Monopoly Capitalism, 1860-1900 --
3. Prosperity and Depression, 1900-1939 --
4. After World War II --
5. The Depression Era --
6. The United Farm Workers Era --
7. Unionism during the 1980s and Early 1990s.
Series Title: Social movements past and present.
Responsibility: Patrick H. Mooney and Theo J. Majka.

Abstract:

In this comprehensive overview of the fascinating and rich history of the struggles of farmers and farm workers, Patrick H. Mooney and Theo J. Majka highlight the drama of certain events and the courage and charisma of the individuals who have participated in these movements.

The section on farmer movements begins with a look at the violent farmer protests from the colonial period up to the Civil War and then moves on to farmer alliances with labor that were common between 1860 and the farm depression of the 1920s; the institutionalization of the cooperative movement of the early twentieth century; the creation of the Farm Bureau and its consequences for farmers; the cooperatives' initiation of lobbying to combat the power of agribusiness in Washington; the emergence of the National Farmers' Organization as a protest and collective bargaining movement in the 1950s and 1960s; the American Agriculture Movement's campaigns for a "farm strike" and production control in the late 1970s and the 1980s; and the new agrarian social movements emerging from the farm crisis of the 1980s.

The section on farm worker movements looks mainly at the agribusiness economy of California, beginning with farm worker mobilization in the depression era and the emergence of such prominent unions as the Cannery and Agricultural Workers Industrial Union and the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America. The authors extensively examine the United Farm Workers (UFW) activism that began in 1965 under the late Cesar Chavez and culminated in 1975 with the passage of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act. The achievements of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee in Ohio and Michigan during the 1980s and early 1990s is also compared with the relative failures of the UFW during that same time period, and the authors pay particular attention to the "control issues" that have been crucial among farm worker demands.

Mooney and Majka illustrate key concepts and issues in the social movement literature with examples from the history of agrarian struggles, seeking to understand these movements from the vantage point of the agricultural producers and the movement participants rather than from that of their economic and political antagonists. They pay particular attention to movement goals, qualities of leadership, mobilization strategies, and efforts to counter the opposition. While the authors' sympathies are generally with small farmers and farm workers in their efforts to create better futures, they also record these activists' shortcomings, misjudgments, and failures.

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