FACTORIES IN THE FIELD by Carey McWilliams

FACTORIES IN THE FIELD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Here is the background of California's agricultural picture, and the story of migratory farm labor, and what it means, not only to the state, but to industry at large. The author traces the change from ordinary farming to industrial farming, he shows how the vast land empires and monopolies came into being (such as the Miller-Lux land empire). He follows the downward path to failure of the Kaweah Co-operative Colony. He goes back to the beginnings of the problems of racial minorities, with the roots in the importation and use of Oriental cheap labor, and the culmination today in the influx of dust-bowl farmer refugees. From wheat to fruit, with sugar beets and wine grapes as important factors, he gives the picture of California's agriculture riches. A fertile ground for labor disorders, California has organized her farmers and growers to combat the organizations of migratory workers, and has successfully opposed land settlement projects, migratory government camps, and made a scandal of the relief rolls. It is not a flattering picture of this glamorous state, and it might be viewed as a source book for Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.

Pub Date: July 24th, 1939
Publisher: Little, Brown