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Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers

Ruth Conniff

A compelling portrayal by the veteran journalist of the lives of farming communities on either side of the U. S. -Mexico border and the surprising connections between them "Conniff brings her skills and insights to a particularly urgent project: moving beyond the polarizing politics of our current era, and taking a deeper look at how people who have been pitted against each other can forge bonds of understanding.

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Book Information

Publisher: New Press.
Publish Date: 07/12/2022
Pages: 224
ISBN-13: 9781620976371
ISBN-10: 1620976374
Language: English

What We're Saying

July 14, 2022

Milked focuses on how farmers and immigrants have been pitted against one another, but in many ways, it is a broader metaphor for how all Americans are pitted against each other. Yet it is not about the doom and gloom of it all—it is about hope. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 09, 2022

Hispanic Heritage Month

By Gabbi Cisneros, Jasmine Gonzalez

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with this list of recommended authors and books. We see you, and we read you. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

A compelling portrayal by the veteran journalist of the lives of farming communities on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border and the surprising connections between them

"Conniff brings her skills and insights to a particularly urgent project: moving beyond the polarizing politics of our current era, and taking a deeper look at how people who have been pitted against each other can forge bonds of understanding." --E.J. Dionne Jr., co-author of 100% Democracy Winner of the Studs and Ida Terkel Award In the Midwest, Mexican workers have become critically important to the survival of rural areas and small towns--and to the individual farmers who rely on their work--with undocumented immigrants, mostly from Mexico, accounting for an estimated 80 percent of employees on the dairy farms of western Wisconsin.


In Milked, former editor-in-chief of The Progressive Ruth Conniff introduces us to the migrants who worked on these dairy farms, their employers, among them white voters who helped elect Donald Trump to office in 2016, and the surprising friendships that have formed between these two groups of people. These stories offer a rich and fascinating account of how two crises--the record-breaking rate of farm bankruptcies in the Upper Midwest, and the contentious politics around immigration--are changing the landscape of rural America.


A unique and fascinating exploration of rural farming communities, Milked sheds light on seismic shifts in policy on both sides of the border over recent decades, connecting issues of labor, immigration, race, food, economics, and U.S.-Mexico relations and revealing how two seemingly disparate groups of people have come to rely on each other, how they are subject to the same global economic forces, and how, ultimately, the bridges of understanding that they have built can lead us toward a more constructive politics and a better world.

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