Her book West Indian Workers and the United Fruit Company in Costa Rica 1870–1940 relates the history of the U.S.-based companies that built railroads and cultivated bananas on the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica and merged to form United Fruit in 1899. It also describes how the workers, including many Jamaicans, originally of African descent, developed their own parallel socio-economic system. The book was awarded the 1997 Best Book Prize by the New England Council of Latin American Studies.
She has also co-edited books, including The People Behind the Coal, Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State, and The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Latin America Readers).
Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State: The Laboring People of Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean, (Comparative and International Working-Class History), Aviva Chomsky and Aldo Lauria-Santiago (Editors), 1998. 404 pages. Duke University Press, Durham, North Caroline, (ISBN 978-0822322023)