Why David Sometimes Wins: Leadership, Organization, and Strategy in the California Farm Worker Movement (Book)
This book tells the story of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers' ground-breaking victory, drawing important lessons about organizing and leadership.
- “Ganz, because of his long leadership role within the UFW, is unusually well placed as an insider, organizer, and later as a scholar, to write a moving narrative history of this remarkable movement.
- Presents an original argument that an organization’s ability to devise good strategy – driven by leadership – translates into an ability to take advantage of opportunities and with it the likelihood of success.
- The topics encompassed by the movement – immigration, Mexican-American politics, the struggles of labor unions, a living wage and benefits for working class families – still resonate in today’s political climate.
“Why David Sometimes Wins tells the story of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers’ groundbreaking victory, drawing important lessons from this dramatic tale. Since the 1900s, large-scale agricultural enterprises relied on migrant labor–a cheap, unorganized, and powerless workforce. In 1965, when some 800 Filipino grape workers began to strike under the aegis of the AFL-CIO, the UFW soon joined the action with 2,000 Mexican workers and turned the strike into a civil rights struggle. They engaged in civil disobedience, mobilized support from churches and students, boycotted growers, and transformed their struggle into La Causa, a farm workers’ movement that eventually triumphed over the grape industry’s Goliath. Why did they succeed? How can the powerless challenge the powerful successfully?
Offering insight from a longtime movement organizer and scholar, Ganz illustrates how they had the ability and resourcefulness to devise good strategy and turn short-term advantages into long-term gains. Authoritative in scholarship and magisterial in scope, this book constitutes a seminal contribution to learning from the movement’s struggles, set-backs, and successes.
Author, Marshall Ganz joined Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers in 1965, where he worked for 16 years, and has since continued work with grassroots organizations to design voter-mobilization strategies for local, state, and national electoral campaigns, most recently with Barack Obama. Ganz is currently Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.”
Source: Publisher’s website
1. Introduction: How David Beat Goliath
2. Beginnings: Immigrants, Radicals, and the AFL (1900-1959)
3. New Opportunities, New Initiatives: (1959-1962)
4. A Storm Gathers: Two Responses (1963-1965)
5. The Great Delano Grape Strike (1965-1966)
6. Meeting the Counter-Attack (1966)
7. Launching a New Union (1966-1967)
Chapter 10: Why David Sometimes Wins: Strategic Capacity in Social Movements (pp 209 – 237)
Marshall Ganz joined Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers in 1965, where he worked for 16 years, and has since continued work with grassroots organizations to design voter-mobilization strategies for local, state, and national electoral campaigns, most recently with Barack Obama. Ganz is currently Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
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- Agricultural laborers_labourers
- Campaigns_Movements_Organizing - Case studies
- Campaigns_Movements_Organizing - Case studies - Labour_Workers' rights
- Cesar Chavez
- Migrant agricultural laboroers_labourers
- United Farm Workers
- United Farm Workers - History