Sal Si Puedes

Sal Si Puedes is an account of the work of the great American social reformer Cesar Chavez. Chavez is best remembered for his work on behalf of migrant farmworkers. The book was written by Peter Matthiessen, an acclaimed American author, who won the National Book Award in 1978 for his book The Snow Leopard.

Sal Si Puedes was published in 1969, and it is included in our collection alongside a letter signed by Chavez. The signed letter included along with our copy of Sal Si Puedes is dated February 9, 1974.

Cesar Chavez

Quick Look

Who: Sal Si Puedes is about Cesar Chavez. It was written by Peter Matthiessen.

Why: Put simply, Sal Si Puedes is Peter Matthiessen’s attempt to tell the story, or a portion of the story, of the great American social reformer Cesar Chavez.

When: Sal Si Puedes was published in 1969.

Publishing information: Sal Si Puedes: Cesar Chavez and the New American Revolution, by Peter Matthiessen. New York: Random House, 1969. Includes a typed letter signed by Cesar E. Chavez, President, United Farm Workers of America AFL-CIO to Mr. Russell Gibbons, U.S.W.A., February 9, 1974.

Learning Activities

Think about the various social reformers highlighted in this Digital Guide: Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Zitkala-Sa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez. What makes someone a great social reformer? What lessons can we learn from these social reformers to apply to our own contemporary political life?