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Looking Back at the UFW, a Union With Two Souls: An Interview with Frank Bardacke in The Nation

Anne Sullivan14 February 2012

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.