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In the Struggle
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About the Author

Daniel J. O'Connell (Author)
Daniel O'Connell is executive director of the Central Valley Partnership, a regional nonprofit organization and progressive network of labor unions, environmental organizations, and community groups spanning the San Joaquin Valley. Trained as a multidisciplinary ethnographer, he holds an MS in International Agricultural Development from University of California, Davis, and a PhD in Education from Cornell University. As a politically engaged scholar, his work is dedicated to achieving social, racial, environmental, and economic justice in California.
Scott J. Peters (Author)
Scott Peters is a professor in the Department of Global Development at Cornell University and a historian of American higher education's public purposes and work. He has spent the past twenty years as a leader in the civic engagement movement in American higher education, most recently serving as faculty co-director of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA). He is the lead author of Democracy and Higher Education: Traditions and Stories of Civic Engagement. He is also co-editor of the Cornell University Press book series, "Publicly Engaged Scholars: Identities, Purposes, and Practices."

Reviews

In the Struggle is a definitive study of the forces that have shaped the politics, environment, and economics of the San Joaquin Valley, one of earth's precious areas that produces the fruits and vegetables that feed the world, yet where workers and their families are relegated to poverty, and the land is desecrated by poisons and contamination. Agribusiness corporations want to replicate this model throughout the world, and this book gives us practical, attainable solutions to fight back. We are all the beneficiaries of the harvest; we all have to take action for land justice, farmworkers' rights, and a healthy environment. -- -Dolores Huerta, Cofounder, United Farm Workers; Founding President, Dolores Huerta Foundation
In the Struggle is a devastating indictment against California's agribusiness and just as importantly, the various institutions, including the University of California, that are implicated in enabling its stranglehold over the lives of far too many Californians. It is also a wonderful primer on community-engaged research drawing from the courageous praxis of those who dared to speak truth to power; it is a must-read for activist-scholars. -- Robyn Magalit Rodriguez, author of Migrants for Export: How the Philippine State Brokers Workers to the World and Founding Director, Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies
Years ago, when I was president of the Association of American Law Schools, I chose as the theme for our annual conference, 'Engaged Scholarship.' In the Struggle illustrates the importance of keeping our work grounded and why I chose that theme. In a series of gripping and illuminating chapters, Daniel J. O'Connell and Scott J. Peters put us in conversation with the scholars who were pivotal in pulling back the curtain on California agribusiness and populated the landscape with real people, with real lives, with real dignity. It is rare for a work of scholarship to be so moving. This is one of those books. -- Gerald Torres, Professor of Environmental Justice, Yale School of the Environment, Yale Law School
This sure-footed book follows a breed of scholars who pried open the secrets of California's Central Valley. In the dust of the most industrialized farm belt in the world, they found that the plantation South-its lords and serfs, its brutal execution-had come West. Their long battle for justice is not yet won. But their ample lessons are ripe for picking by a new generation's fighters. -- Mark Arax, author of The Dreamt Land
In the Struggle is required reading for anyone who seeks to understand the devastating impacts of agribusiness' powerful hold on the San Joaquin Valley of California. By telling the stories of resistance through the eyes of the scholar activists whose research documents these harms, the book brings this critical historical record to life. -- Mary Louise Frampton, Professor, University of California Davis School of Law & Counsel, National Land for People
This book is SO IMPORTANT, because it is about the future of agriculture, informed by scholars who defended the foundations of agrarian democracy in California. They knew that the future of agriculture was not about 'get big or get out' and 'farm fence-row to fence-row,' it is about diverse, equitable communities and self-renewing, self-regulating natural systems! -- Frederick Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University
In the Struggle is an urgent read for anyone who cares about the enduring damage wrought by California's industrial agriculture. The intimate narratives of scholar-activists remind us that research is critical in the fight for social and economic justice and is also dangerous business. Together the quilt of stories provides detailed evidence of the widespread negative impacts of industrial agriculture and how scholars allied with farmworker movements and communities who aim to tell these truths have been censured, silenced, and threatened-by industry, government, and the very academic institutions in which they work. Yet, In the Struggle also brings joy and hope through the personal narratives of life-long seekers of truth and justice. -- Erica Kohl-Arenas, author of The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty; Faculty Director, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life

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