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The Children of NAFTA: Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border

The Children of NAFTA: Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border
Author: David Bacon
ISBN 13: 9780520244726
ISBN 10: 520244729
Edition: Revised ed.
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 2004-12-13
Format: Paperback
Pages: 348
List Price: $26.95

"David Bacon reminds Americans of something we often forget: that NAFTA is meant to be a multilateral agreement, and that it was supposed to bring huge benefits to Mexico. Did it? Bravo to David Bacon for his tough-minded, unsparing portrait of working life at globalization's ground zero."—Ray Suarez, senior correspondent, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and author of The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration

"David Bacon brings to life the heroes and villains on the front lines of the battle for human dignity under NAFTA—the world's most extreme experiment in free market fundamentalism."—Sarah Anderson, Director, Global Economy Project,
Institute for Policy Studies

"Built from vivid, firsthand accounts, this is an extraordinary mural portrait of a border that few North Americans know anything about: of a working class fighting for survival on the unequal playing ground of NAFTA, where labor rights are almost always dishonored and where activists often end up blacklisted, jailed, or even desparecido. Bacon wonderfully coveys the passion, urgency and historical importance of the daily struggles to humanize the cold ultra-capitalist world of NAFTA."—Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles

"David Bacon has put a human face on the devastating impact of NAFTA on workers here and abroad. Our economic future as a nation depends on the knowledge contained in this book. A must read! ¡Si Se Puede!"—Dolores Huerta, Co-founder, United Farm Workers Union, President, Dolores Huerta Foundation

"David Bacon represents the fine old tradition of American working-class journalism at its best. He's gone everywhere—from tiny Mexican villages to the baking hot fields of California agribusiness—to get the real lowdown on NAFTA's effects on the blue collar people who hardly ever get a hearing in the mainstream press."—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

"David Bacon's new book blows away the ideological fog that has surrounded the North American Free Trade Agreement for a decade."—Jeff Faux, Economic Policy

Publishers Weekly

Normally rare firsthand accounts from Mexican workers make up most of this examination of labor struggles in the fields and factories along the U.S.-Mexican border in the 10 years since the signing of NAFTA. Bacon, an associate editor with Pacific News Service and a regular contributor to the Nation, provides exhaustive, meticulous retellings of intimidation, violence and voter fraud that reveal a pattern of corporate and government collusion to squash laborers' attempts to organize independent unions. Such tactics are nothing new in Mexican politics, but Bacon argues they have a new significance post-NAFTA: enforcing the government's neoliberal policy of suppressing wages in order to attract foreign investment. While Bacon offers little in terms of substantiating this claim, the testimony of the workers is powerful and compelling (as are Bacon's 24 b&w photos), and the chunks of Mexican labor history Bacon presents along the way are clear and accessible, making this an invaluable book for anyone interested in the human mechanics of globalization. Ironically, despite rampant suppression of workers' organizations, Bacon finds an unintended success of NAFTA in burgeoning ties between U.S. and Mexican workers, in preparation for a large-scale fight for workers' rights that "will take place on the floors of the maquila plants." (Feb.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.