Maurice Jourdane. Waves of Recovery: The Life of an Advocate of Latino Civil Rights. ISBN: 978-0-915745-95-1. $22.95.
This a riveting personal account of Maurice Jourdane--currently a Superior Court Judge and a member of the Jerry Brown's California Attorney General's Office--leading to his legal representation and advocacy for farm workers and César Chávez's organizing efforts. Mo's life reads like a Greek mythic tale in which the hero suffers and endures moral and physical endurance in his quest, his now legendary legal fights and successes against the powerful California growers and agricultural interests. This biography is a testament to human strength in behalf of justice for Latinos. The success of César Chávez's civil rights movement and union organizing efforts cannot be fully understood without knowledge of the life and sacrifices of Maurice Jourdane, El Cortito. His legal successes, at great personal costs, solidified Chávez's leadership and prepared the way for the consolidation of the Farm Workers' Union, and ultimately for the farm workers to prevail against the powerful political and economic interests of the California growers. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña, Editor.
"Never Say Die" means exactly that. Jourdane was a young civil rights attorney representing farm workers, their children. He fought the agribusiness industry for free election and union representation. In Waves of Recovery, Maurice tells how he collided with an 80 ton oilrig and was able to recover from haunting death, facial disfigurement, loss of an eye, and loss of the ability to speak-César Chávez believed that growers tried to kill him. With the strong support of friends and family Jourdane takes on an adventure that begins with him near death in a car embedded in the side of an oilrig in the San Joaquin Valley, to Stanford Hospital, to his home near Santa Cruz, and back to the fields fighting for farm workers and their union. He followed César Chávez's motto: Sí se Puede!! "Waves of Recovery is a powerful account of the struggle for justice for farm workers in the face of brutal, violent opposition by growers and Agribusiness. A true story, written in the fast paced style of a novel, it is an astonishing testament of the life and death fight for survival of its uncompromising author who fought and almost died for what he believes; then incredibly came back, signaling through the flames to learn to see, walk and talk again, and to finally pen this remarkable book. Written with true honesty and courage, it is nothing less than inspiring." Luis Valdéz "This book is a blueprint of the depth of the human spirit and will to recover." Mirandi Babitz, Family Therapist, Los Angeles "Mo Jourdane's.chronicles his struggles and triumphs, and what it means to overcome personal tragedy while working to bring justice to farm workers." Gloria Alvarez, Managing Editor, Eastern Group Publications, Inc. "...a gripping tale of courage and compassion. Overcoming polio and a near-fatal accident that left him permanently disfigured, Jourdane was sustained by his uncommon courage and the compassion of his friends and the farm workers he defended. Marjorie Cohn, President, National Lawyers Guild.
"It is inspiring . . . because you survived all that life has slammed you with . . . your good work, .hope and joy that makes it worth living. I admire your courage, and your wonderful political idealism." Shan Crockett, M.D.
"I first knew Maurice as a surfer and a brilliant lawyer, then as the victim of a horrific accident, and now as the author of a remarkable book about courage. In Waves of Recovery he tells his own story of coming back from the loss of everything short of his life-career, family, vision, memory and the ability to even speak. His fight back is inspiring on every level a human being can hope to understand about the meaning and importance of life. That's why he's back on waves and in the courtroom. Terry McDonell, Editor, Sports Illustrated Group"
A former attorney with California Rural Legal Assistance and the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, Deputy Secretary of Legal Affairs in the Governor’s office; Superior Court judge; temporary juvenile court judge; and judicial council with the court of appeals. Jourdane attended Huntington Park High School, San Jose State College, and Hastings College of Law. He has published several law review articles and two books: The Struggle for the Health & Legal Protection of Farm Workers: El Cortito, and Waves of Recovery. He is currently a deputy attorney general in San Diego, married to Olivia Flores, who teaches elementary school, and they have two children, Jacquelyn, who also teaches, and Jonathan, who was just accepted to law school at the University of Colorado.