HIRED HANDS: Seasonal Farm Workers in the United States by Stephen H. Sosnick

HIRED HANDS: Seasonal Farm Workers in the United States

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anyone looking for economic and sociological data on the whys and wherefores of seasonal farm labor should find this sourcebook helpful. It is largely a compilation of statistics resulting from interviews with workers and employers--California supplies most of the examples--and Stephen Sosnick, Professor of Agricultural Economies at the University of California, Davis, covers everything from the types of people who do seasonal work and the reasons, to wage rates, field conditions, and the battles between Teamsters and United Farm Workers to unionize. The material is dearly presented--each chapter begins with an explanation of exactly what follows--and there are a number of tables actually understandable to the layman (although several lengthy mathematical formulas are not). Sosnick offers only occasional opinions, preferring for the most part to present the facts and let the reader draw his own conclusions. He quotes extensively from others in the field, and the book is of value as much for its footnotes as anything else. One might have wished for something on the families of seasonal workers--problems of schooling, health, environment--as well as a good summary chapter to pull everything together instead of the book's abrupt ending. Not something everyone will want to read from cover to cover, but useful background for researchers with some applicable tip-offs--you can't get food stamps, for instance, if you don't have a stove.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1978
Publisher: McNally & Loftin