"Courageous." -Ilan Stavans, author of Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language Robert Kennedy and Cesar Chavez came from opposite sides of the tracks of race and class that still divide Americans. Both optimists, Kennedy and Chavez shared a common vision of equality. They united in the 1960s to crusade for the rights of migrant farm workers. Farm workers faded from public consciousness following Kennedy's assassination and Chavez's early passing. Yet the work of Kennedy and Chavez continues to reverberate in America today. Bender chronicles their warm friendship and embraces their bold political vision for making the American dream a reality for all. Although many books discuss Kennedy or Chavez individually, this is the first book to capture their multifaceted relationship and its relevance to mainstream U.S. politics and Latino/a politics today. Bender examines their shared legacy and its continuing influence on political issues including immigration, education, war, poverty, and religion. Mapping a new political path for Mexican Americans and the poor of all backgrounds, this book argues that there is still time to prove Kennedy and Chavez right.
Steven Bender is the James and Ilene Hershner Professor of Law at the University of Oregon School of Law. He is coauthor of Everyday Law for Latinos (Paradigm 2008) and author of Greasers and Gringos: Latinos, Law, and the American Imagination (NYU Press, 2003).
Part I: A Friendship Cut Short Chapter 1: Viva (John) Kennedy Chapter 2: Viva la Huelga Chapter 3: Cesar's Fast and Deeds of Love Chapter 4: Viva (Bobby) Kennedy Chapter 5: One Night in America Part II: The Dream of Dignity Survives Chapter 6: Aftermath Chapter 7: Viva la Causa: Rural Latinos and the Farm Worker Movement Chapter 8: Viva la Raza: Urban Latinos and the Chicano Movement Chapter 9: Vietnam and Mexican Americans: Patriotism and Protest Chapter 10: Latinos and Poverty Chapter 11: Immigration: Walls and Wages Part III: Lessons from 1968: Latino Politics Today Chapter 12: Latinos and National Politics Chapter 13: Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church Chapter 14: Mexican Americans and the Civil Rights Movement Chapter 15: Looking Ahead: The Future of the Democratic Party and Immigrant Reform Conclusion