Book in Common

Book in Common 2018-2019

All They Will Call You

All They Will Call You is the harrowing account of “the worst airplane disaster in California’s history,” which claimed the lives of thirty-two passengers, including twenty-eight Mexican citizens—farmworkers who were being deported by the U.S. government. Outraged that media reports omitted only the names of the Mexican passengers, American folk icon Woody Guthrie penned a poem that went on to become one of the most important protest songs of the twentieth century, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee).” It was an attempt to restore the dignity of the anonymous lives whose unidentified remains were buried in an unmarked mass grave in California’s Central Valley. For nearly seven decades, the song’s message would be carried on by the greatest artists of our time, including Pete Seeger, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez, yet the question posed in Guthrie’s lyrics, “Who are these friends all scattered like dry leaves?” would remain unanswered—until now.

All they will call you -Book Cover

Combining years of painstaking investigative research and masterful storytelling, award-winning author Tim Z. Hernandez weaves a captivating narrative from testimony, historical records, and eyewitness accounts, reconstructing the incident and the lives behind the legendary song. This singularly original account pushes narrative boundaries, while challenging perceptions of what it means to be an immigrant in America, but more importantly, it renders intimate portraits of the individual souls who, despite social status, race, or nationality, shared a common fate one frigid morning in January 1948.

(The University of Arizona Press)

Listen to NPR's Latino USA podcast "All They Will Call You Will Be Deportees"(opens in new window)

Book in Common in Chico State Today

Learn more about the 2018 Book in Common in the Chico State Today article - CSU, Chico And Butte College Announce Book In Common For 2018-19 Academic Year(opens in new window).

Kick-Off Event Information & Purchase Tickets

Wednesday, March 13, 2018 at 7:30pm - Tim Z. Hernandez at Laxson Auditorium(opens in new window)

Tickets sold through University Public Events 

$20 Adult | $18 Senior | Free Youth & Chico State Student