In her very timely first book, Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement (Yale University Press, 2016), Lori Flores, assistant professor of history at Stony Brook University, analyzes the struggle for civil and labor rights in California’s Salinas Valley from the 1940s to the present. As she gives a history of how Mexican communities fought for equality, Flores offers crucial insights about today’s growing U.S. Latino demographic, the ongoing campaign for farmworker justice and future immigration policy.
Flores talks about her book in Process: A Blog for American History. When asked if Grounds for Dreaming speaks to modern debates about immigration, she states:
“Absolutely . . . In this election year, we need to choose leaders who offer practical and humane ideas about how to reform our immigration system and our treatment of various types of migrants. Walls, or militarized roundups and deportations, will not work and do not make sense in this present reality of global violence and immense economic disparity.”
Flores teaches about the histories of Latinos in the U.S., labor and immigration, the American working class, the U.S. West and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. Grounds for Dreaming won an honorable mention from the Western Association of Women Historians’ Gita Chaudhuri Book Prize, which honors the best book on the history of women in rural environments.