The historiography of farm labor in North America has undergone a renaissance of sorts in recent decades. Books such as Christian O. Paiz's The Strikers of Coachella and Mireya Loza's Defiant Braceros have reexamined the United Farm Workers (UFW) and the era of the Bracero Program (1942–64) respectively, reorienting the historiography toward a truly “bottom-up” perspective, which previous studies often lacked. Still, most studies in the history of farm labor have tended to compartmentalize the two eras: the bracero era, on the one hand, and the farmworkers movement (1965 onward), on the other.

Andrew J. Hazelton's Labor's Outcasts fills a gap in the historiography by establishing farm labor activism from the 1930s to the 1960s as an antecedent to Cesar Chavez and the UFW. Hazelton examines how organizers in the National Agricultural Workers Union (NAWU)—principally its head organizers, H. L. Mitchell and Ernesto Galarza—challenged the Bracero Program and created “the...

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