Copyright 1966, 141 pages. From the book jacket:
It's been called "America's best-kept secret."
Few Americans know and still fewer care about the long-standing plight of millions of Southwestern farm workers--mostly Mexican-American.
Steve Allen is one who does care, and here he presents an eloquent plea for justice and an end to three decades of scandal born of the selfishness of giant farming combines.
To gather their harvest as quickly and cheaply as possible, growers in the Southwest have imported the hard-working, low-paid Mexican braceros. American farm laborers have begged for jobs, but because they will have to be paid more reasonable salaries, they have too often been left to abject poverty and squalor. Steve Allen, who was raised in poverty himself, was deeply moved when he viewed in person startling scenes of human misery, reminiscent of The Grapes of Wrath. In California valleys uncomfortably close to glamorous Hollywood, he discovered whole migrant families living in dilapidated cars, and mothers working all day in the hot sun while their children suffered from disease and hunger.
In this age of plenty, the farm worker stands as a pariah in our midst. The large agricultural combines, "agribusiness," have for years used their vast power to lobby against providing the fair labor conditions that apply to all other industries. The Southwest, with its hard core of right-wing conservatism, has been shamefully unwilling to back the fight of its poverty-stricken citizens for better working conditions and for union representation.
Now, for the first time, the migrant farmers are making themselves heard, and Steve Allen is one of the prime movers in their fight for decent treatment. In THE GROUND IS OUR TABLE he tells their dramatic story, and, further, reveals by what means we can do our part to alleviate one of America's most inexcusable injustices.