Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Bridging the Class Divide: And Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizing” as Want to Read:
Bridging the Class Divide: And Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Bridging the Class Divide: And Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizing

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  100 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Again and again social change movements--on matter s from the environment to women's rights--have been run by middle-class leaders. But in order to make real progress toward economic and social change, poor people--those most affected by social problems--must be the ones to speak up and lead.

It can be done. Linda Stout herself grew up in poverty in rural North Carolina and
Paperback, 216 pages
Published February 28th 1997 by Beacon Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Bridging the Class Divide, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Bridging the Class Divide

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 228)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Polly Trout
Apr 17, 2008 Polly Trout rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to Polly by: Laura Pierce
This book crashed through my brain like a herd of angry elephants. Evangelical Christians sometimes use the word "convicted" to mean "all of a sudden I realized that I've been totally wrong and a complete asshole about this subject, and cleaning that shit up is long overdue." This book convicted me. Stout grew up extremely poor in North Carolina, and the book is a memoir of how she developed into an internationally recognized social justice leader. It is also a scathing indictment of the ways in ...more
Jul 06, 2013 Sharlyn rated it it was amazing
If I had read this book when I was 18, I think it would have changed my life and saved me a lot of grief. Now, having come to many similar conclusions slowly (and sometimes painfully) through my own experiences, I can't recommend it enough. (In fact, I mailed multiple copies to friends when I was only a couple chapters in.) Whether someone grew up poor, rich, or in between, I think this book will offer incredible insights into how our class positions help form us and set our expectations of ours ...more
Jul 20, 2009 Adam rated it really liked it
This book is very important for all community activists and organizers, particularly privileged ones working as allies. Much of the book is a memoir that serves to counteract a lot of bullshit and attest to the power of people who are directly affected by oppression. Linda Stout is an authority on community building and organizing, and teaches us the lesson of never sacrificing democratic and participatory ideals in the process: “I don't believe we can win the change we want without first buildi ...more
Feb 26, 2008 Aimee rated it it was amazing
This book is fabulous. I'm not even a third of the way through and I can feel the wisdom and clarity just seeping through these pages. I was looking for model white people native to the south to counteract the image that change in the south was always caused by outsiders: abolitionists, carpetbaggers, white northern college students, etc. Of course there are many, but they are never talked about, never praised. Linda Stout is one shining example of one such person. Her narrative also counteracts ...more
Jun 22, 2007 Kevin is currently reading it
On the cover, it looks like a stuffy sociological theory or public policy tree-waster, but once you open it and realize that the author is simply telling you her story as a working class person who has dedicated her life to creating the world of our dreams--a world of shalom--it is really hard to put it down. What's more, she writes not in "standard" middle class academic english, but rather in her own Working Class Piedmont voice, which is really accessible and exciting. I'd recommend this book ...more
Glen Gersmehl
Dec 27, 2014 Glen Gersmehl rated it it was amazing
outstanding exploration of social change from an all-too-infrequently seen perspective, class
Nov 16, 2015 Chrissy rated it it was amazing
Stout deserves an award for this work. Down to earth real and insightful
Stephen Hicks
Sep 20, 2015 Stephen Hicks rated it it was ok
It wasn't necessarily a bad book, but I did find myself constantly pushing past her political viewpoints. Overall, Ms. Stout had very good practical ideas and concerns when organizing social change movements within a local context. She had a very good distinction between providing Social Change and providing Social Services. Her and I had very similar interests yet radically different approaches.
Brittany Anne
Jun 02, 2014 Brittany Anne rated it it was amazing
Linda Stout's models of organizing are based in shared leadership and combatting sexism, racism, and classicism. Though this book is nearly twenty years old, I think its lessons and tools are still important today and hope to use them in my own organizing work.
Aug 08, 2008 Christa rated it it was amazing
In terms of understanding economic oppression, this book popped my brain out about 20 yards. A friend of mine is friends with Linda Stout, the author, and she told me about her and about this book, so off I went to get it. It's a book I've bought for others. I'd like to get Linda Stout and Dorothy Allison together and be a fly on the wall...
Jul 06, 2013 Melanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: working-material
Can't recommend this enough. One question the book raised for me and doesn't really address is education: what is its role in this context? If you're interested in that question (because you're a teacher, perhaps), "Finding Freedom" is an excellent sequel (not literally, of course).
Oct 11, 2007 Jesse rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people. advocates.
I read this book in grad school. It's very straightforward and written from personal experience in organizing and from the heart. I definitely look back on it during most of my work - it's an important book to look into when thinking about class privilege and organizing.
Apr 29, 2009 Pam rated it it was amazing
A lot of valuable information about how class affects our organizing, and tips about ways to address this. More to come later.
Dec 13, 2013 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: direction
Fantastically authentic, grounded, and humbling.

In the world of social movements, Linda Stout is someone I can believe in.
Jun 14, 2007 sawyer marked it as shelved-unfinished
very good insights. no particular reason i haven't finished it!
Aug 06, 2008 David rated it it was amazing
Michele rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2016
Michelle marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2016
Jasmin Valcourt
Jasmin Valcourt marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2016
Evan marked it as to-read
Apr 10, 2016
Max marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2016
De'shay marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2016
Alae marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2016
Anna marked it as to-read
Mar 06, 2016
Dani marked it as to-read
Mar 01, 2016
Sasha Jacobo
Sasha Jacobo marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2016
valerie williford
valerie williford marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2016
Kel rated it it was amazing
Feb 19, 2016
Bethany marked it as to-read
Feb 19, 2016
Tim Lo Surdo
Tim Lo Surdo marked it as to-read
Feb 12, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use It for Social Change!
  • Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy
  • Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy
  • Thinking Class: Sketches from a Cultural Worker
  • Poor People's Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail
  • The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide
  • Memoir of a Race Traitor
  • Women without Class: Girls, Race, and Identity
  • Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists
  • Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Impacts)
  • No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City
  • What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the Nation
  • In the Shadow of the Poorhouse: A Social History of Welfare in America
  • White Trash: Race and Class in America
  • Adios, Barbie: Young Women Write About Body Image and Identity
  • Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
  • Fundraising for Social Change
  • Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality

Share This Book