This book was the first broad exposé of the social and environmental damage inflicted by the growth of corporate agriculture in California. Factories in the Field—together with the work of Dorothea Lange, Paul Taylor, and John Steinbeck—dramatizes the misery of the dust bowl migrants hoping to find work in California agriculture. McWilliams starts with the scandals of the Spanish land grant purchases, and continues on to examine the experience of the various ethnic groups that have provided labor for California's agricultural industry—Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, Filipinos, Armenians—the strikes, and the efforts to organize labor unions
About the Author
Carey McWilliams's books include California: The Great Exception (California, 1998), Ill Fares the Land: Migrants & Migratory Labor in the U.S. (1942), Ambrose Bierce: A Biography (1929), Brothers under Skin (1943) and Southern California:An Island on the Land (1946). Douglas C. Sackman teaches history at Oberlin College.