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The Crusade for Justice
Chicano Militancy and the Government's War on Dissent

Winner of the 1999 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Books Award

“Chicano activist Ernesto Vigil is stirring up the masses again.”
Rocky Mountain News

This definitive account of the Chicano movement in 1960s Denver reveals the intolerance and brutality that inspired and accompanied the urban Chicano organization known as the Crusade for Justice. Ernesto Vigil, an expert in the discourse of radical movements of this time, joined the Crusade as a young draft resistor where he met Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, the founder of the CFJ. Vigil follows the movement chronologically from Gonzales's early attempts to fight discrimination as a participant in local democratic politics to his radical stance as an organizer outside mainstream politics.

Drawing extensively upon FBI documentation that became available under the Freedom of Information Act, Vigil exposes massive surveillance of the Crusade for Justice by federal agents and local police and the damaging effects of such methods on ethnic liberation movements. Vigil complements these documents and the story of Gonzales's development as a radical with the story of his personal involvement in the movement. The Crusade for Justice describes one of the most important Chicano organizations against prejudice.


Ernesto Vigil was a member of the Crusade for Justice from 1968–1981. He began this project ten years ago when he was a research associate at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race in America at the University of Colorado at Boulder.




“A remarkable and fascinating book, rich in the history and struggles of an important era in United States and Chicano history.”
—John Nichols, The Milagro Beanfield War



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June 1999
LC: 98-051514 F
500 pp.  6 x 9
19 b/w photos 

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Paper $24.95
ISBN 9780299162245
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Cloth $24.95 S
ISBN 9780299162207
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