A California man
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Miriam Pawel's second volume about Cesar Chavez, after 2009's The Union of Their Dreams, focuses on Chavez the person, with the same sort of clear writing. In The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography (Bloomsbury Press, $35), Pawel contrasts his commitment to nonviolence with his tolerance of his cousin's occasionally violent actions, and his consensus-building approach with his brief '70s flirtation with the Synanon model. Well, he was a Californian. What emerges is a figure who accomplished far more than he set out to do, while managing to inspire far more people than he ever met.