César Chávez's relentless campaign for social justice for farm workers and laborers in the United States marked a milestone in U.S. history. Through his powerful rhetoric and impassioned calls to action, Chávez transformed as well as persuaded and inspired his audiences.
In this first published anthology, Richard J. Jensen and John C. Hammerback present Chávez in his own terms. Through this collection and through his own words and analysis of his major speeches and writings, Jensen and Hammerback reveal the rhetorical qualities and underlying rhetorical dynamics of a master communicator and also offer a rich source of the history of the farm workers' movement Chávez led from the early 1960s to his death in 1993.
Each chapter features a clear introductory section that helps the reader focus on the highlights that won Chávez a reputation as an effective communicator. The editors explain the sources of Chávez's motivation to campaign for farm workers, his selection of characteristic and signature rhetorical elements, and the success of specific campaigns and his overall career.
The Words of César Chávez offers an important new resource for scholars of public discourse, Chicano studies, and César Chávez himself. It complements the editors' earlier study, The Rhetorical Career of César Chávez, by providing the primary materials for that rhetorical profile of Chávez. Through his own words, Jensen and Hammerback present Chávez doing what he did best: teaching and influencing audiences who would enact his agenda to create a new and better world.
RICHARD J. JENSEN, an emeritus professor of communication at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is the coeditor or coauthor of two previous books published by Texas A&M University Press, both on the rhetoric of César Chávez. Jensen holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University.
JOHN C. HAMMERBACK, a professor at California State University, Hayward, who teaches in the department of mass communication, earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University.