The Maya of Morganton

Work and Community in the Nuevo New South

Revised and Expanded Edition

By Leon Fink

The Maya of Morganton

Approx. 304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 39 halftones, 1 map, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-8211-2
    Published: October 2024
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5447-1
    Published: April 2003
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-6241-4
    Published: November 2003
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7687-4
    Published: November 2003

Paperback Available October 2024, but pre-order your copy today!

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In 2003, Leon Fink published his oral history of Guatemalan and Mexican migrants in Morganton, North Carolina, and their fight for unionization in a poultry processing plant. In the years since, Fink remained in touch with many of the people he profiled in the book, and in 2022 he returned to Morganton to interview them and talk with their children, new migrants in the area, and community leaders, particularly women. Their conversations covered a wide range of topics, including labor struggles and victories, grassroots and electoral political organizing, social activism (especially on issues affecting undocumented migrants), class mobility for second-generation migrants, and new cooperative worker-owned institutions, including a bookstore, a textile factory, and a preschool.

This revised and expanded edition of The Maya of Morganton reveals what Fink found on his return to Morganton, documenting two decades of continuity and change in a new preface and chapter. Together with the original material, the book presents a comprehensive yet intimate examination of the migrant experience in western North Carolina. 

About the Author

Leon Fink is senior research associate and adjunct professor of history at Georgetown University and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
For more information about Leon Fink, visit the Author Page.


"A dream project that is as valuable as it is timely: the question of how to best seek justice for immigrant workers (and what 'justice' even looks like) is more relevant now than ever."—Julie M. Weise, author of Corazón de Dixie: Mexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910

"The Maya of Morganton is one of the books that I most consistently recommend to students, colleagues, and friends. It tells a story about migration, capitalism, and activism that continues to matter today—urgently so. This new edition returns us to Morganton twenty years later and puts into relief how influential Fink's book has been." —David Sartorius, editor of Social Text