Gabriel Thompson, author of Working in the Shadows (Nation Books, 2010) interviewed the author of Trampling Out the Vintage in the February 13, 2012 issue of The Nation.
Q: You spent six seasons in the fields, working on celery and lettuce crews. How did your time as a farmworker influence the way you approached the book?
A: If I hadn’t worked in the fields, there wouldn’t have been a book. I started just writing about farmworkers, telling the story of the UFW from the point of view of the militant rank-and-file lettuce crews. But that didn’t work. To make any sense of it, I had to tell the story from the point of view of the staff and the executive board as well. That’s the crux of it; that’s what’s so fascinating: the interchange between these groups. When they were working together, they were a very powerful force; and when in opposition, the union came undone.
Read the entire interview here.