The Eagle Has Eyes

On today’s episode, we’re joined by José Angel Gutiérrez to discuss his book, The Eagle Has Eyes: The FBI Surveillance of César Estrada Chavez of the United Farm Workers Union of America, 1965-1975.

The Eagle Has Eyes is the first book of its kind to bring transparency to the FBI’s attempts to destroy the incipient Chicano Movement of the 1960s. The role of the US government in suppressing marginalized racial and ethnic minorities began to be documented with the advent of the Freedom of Information Act, and the book utilizes declassified files from the FBI to investigate the agency’s role in thwarting the efforts of César Chavez’s to build a labor union for farm workers. The book also documents the roles of the FBI, California state police, and local police in assisting those who opposed Chavez. In the words of Eloy García, the book “masterfully connects the dots of US government surveillance ... helping us understand the cowed public silence in the present perilous era of the Orwellian ‘national security’ matrix.”

José Angel Gutiérrez is the author of many other books documenting the Chicano Movement all which are informed by his prominent role as a leader and community organizer. Gutiérrez is Professor Emeritus of the University of Texas at Arlington, where he founded the Center for Mexican American Studies. He maintains a law practice and is the President of the Greater Dallas Legal and Community Development Foundation.

The Eagle Has Eyes: The FBI Surveillance of César Estrada Chavez of the United Farm Workers Union of America, 1965-1975, is available at msupress.org and other fine booksellers. You can connect with the press on Facebook and @msupress on twitter, where you can also find me @kurtmilb.

The MSU Press podcast is a joint production of MSU Press and the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. Thanks to Daniel Trego, Madiha Ghous, Donté Smith, Kylene Cave, and the team at MSU Press, especially Elise Jajuga and Julie Reaume, for helping to produce this podcast. Our theme music is “Coffee” by Cambo. 
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