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Reveille for Radicals

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Legendary community organizer Saul Alinsky inspired a generation of activists and politicians with Reveille for Radicals, the original handbook for social change. Alinsky writes both practically and philosophically, never wavering from his belief that the American dream can only be achieved by an active democratic citizenship. First published in 1946 and updated in 1969 wi ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 23rd 1989 by Vintage
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Great for inspiring political activism, not feminist enough for me.
I actually have the 1969 version of the 1946 book, with an updated introduction and afterward by Alinsky. As Alinsky himself notes in his '69 introduction, he was full of much more piss and vinegar in this work than in his later Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. He plainly states his own ideology in Reveille, which he tries to avoid doing in Rules. Alinsky distinguishes his "radical" ideology from the liberal, the communist, the religious, and the conservative.

Lots of people read this back when it was first published, a million years ago. But it should be required reading for anyone trying to find their way out of the multinational corporate capitalist maze we currently find ourselves in. Particularly for anyone in the Occupy Movement. Saul Alinsky was a freakin' brilliant community organizer who had incredible results in the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago, which he then replicated in various places all over the country. The cry for people- ...more
Reads largely like a low content rant. That is if one has not context, nor a glimpse. Plenty of the people vs. the man. Whether the man be the corporation or the government. Much of the rallying testimonials by those supposedly deep in the struggle sound precisely as the stories my older, and deeply union neighbor tells me. Same conflicts, passions, angers, aims.

Many of the stories of bringing the community together ring a little odd. On the one hand, it's sworn up and down no violence. Suddenly
Luke Peterson
Feb 20, 2007 Luke Peterson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: organizers
Alinsky's follow-up to Rules for Radicals has more case studies, and appears to contain all the stuff that had to be edited out of Rules in order to keep it pamphlet-length.

Good book though, and still cheap and easy to read. No reason not to.
May 14, 2007 Kenn added it
Recommends it for: poltical scientists
Shelves: newoldclassics
how to organize. how organizing for social justice is a lot like organizing for tammany hall. how alinsky is a kook. it has been said, but Alinsky is like a neo-post-Thomas-Paine. he writes about the radical in a very common sense way.
Written 20 years before "Rules for Radicals," and it seems about 40 years more dated. Mostly good for a sort of snapshot of the labor organization movement just after WWII and the beginnings of Alinsky's political thought.
Great stories and lessons, from a great organizer. This book was more interesting to me than Rules for Radicals because stories and examples of resistant movements were used.
the literature of community organizing has many lessons for those of us who wish to try and make the world a better place.
Out of date for today's radicals, but an interesting look back on the liberalism that came out of WWII.
Theadora Davitt-Cornyn
a classic i always intended to borrow. finally just got my own.
one of the most inspirational books i read in college!
Nov 16, 2013 Pygmalion7 is currently reading it
Having just completed a year working as a Trainee Community Organiser, I would say this book is extremely relevant today. I am working on a transcript / review of this book, and will publish it as soon as my current commitments allow.

This is definately recommended, or should I say 'required' reading for anyone who is interested professionally or personally or perhaps both, in engaging effectively with communities.

This book was a struggle for me. It was written in a vocabulary I don't yet understand, in a tone that makes me uncomfortable, about causes I've never wanted to fight for.

That said, I find I involuntarily learned about what it is to be a community organizer.
It's a good read. Several stories of how people in history living in poverty and oppressive situations were able to rise up using non-violent actions to make social changes in their community; their city; their state; maybe, the nation.
Madeline Anderson
Wonderful for community organizing and really pumped. Some things are a little extreme but then begs the question: in need of change, what is too extreme?
Chris Brimmer
Just a refinement but a good back to back read.
Oct 26, 2010 Jane added it
Another page turner from Alinsky
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Saul David Alinsky was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. His organizing skills were focused on improving the living conditions of poor communities across North America.
More about Saul D. Alinsky...
Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals John L. Lewis: An Unauthorized Biography Reveille for Radicals / Rules for Radicals

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“Life is an adventure of passion, risk, danger, laughter, beauty, love; a burning curiosity to go with the action to see what it is all about, to go search for a pattern of meaning, to burn one's bridges because you're never going to go back anyway, and to live to the end.” 140 likes
“I suggested that we might buy one hundred seats for one of Rochester's symphony concerts. We would select a concert in which the music would be relatively quiet. The hundred blacks who would be given tickets would first be treated to a three-hour pre-concert dinner in the community, in which they would be fed nothing but baked beans, and lots of them; them the people would go to the symphony hall--with obvious consequences.” 2 likes
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