America’s Social Arsonist – Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century

Dillon Savory / September 15, 2016 /

On March 29, 2016, labor journalist and author Gabriel Thompson released “America’s Social Activist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century,” the first biography of the extraordinary work of Fred Ross, Sr.

“A good organizer is a social arsonist who goes around setting people on fire.”—Fred Ross



“Thompson describes Ross as ‘an idealist who wasn’t afraid to get [his] hands dirty.’ Ross dedicated his life to fighting racism, discrimination, and other injustices by organizing working people to help themselves by building powerful grassroots organizations. For over five decades, he helped build community organizing groups, played a key role in building the United Farm Workers (UFW) union, and built bridges between labor, religious, civic, and neighborhood organizations. ” – Peter Dreier

About the Author:
Gabriel Thompson is a Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing at San Jose State University. He is the author of several books, and has written for Harper’sNew York, Slate, Mother Jones, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Nation.