Carey Alive and Well at the LA Times
Gustavo Arellano, best known as the author of Ask a Mexican!, has a piece today in the Los Angeles Times on day laborers in Orange County. The story could have been taken out of T.C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain, which we finished reading last night at San Francisco State.
That alone would have been grounds for inclusion on this blog, but there's more. Turns out Gustavo has become a McWilliams aficionado, and he drops a reference in the middle of his piece.
Orange County's approach to troublesome immigrants is so notorious that no less an authority than labor historian Carey McWilliams became radicalized here. In a 1940 interview, the writer who went on to edit the Nation magazine said: "I hadn't believed stories of such wholesale violation of civil rights until I went down to Orange County to defend a number of farm workers held in jail for 'conspiracy.' When I announced my purpose, the judge said, 'It's no use; I'll find them guilty anyway.' "
I think Gustavo might have come across this reference in American Prophet. Fanatical readers of this blog will recall that he interviewed me for an OC Weekly story he wrote on the citrus strikes of the 1930s.
Labels: Carey McWilliams