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Reveille for Radicals

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  339 Ratings  ·  22 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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Jun 05, 2009 Maria rated it really liked it
Great for inspiring political activism, not feminist enough for me.
Dec 02, 2013 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 23, 2014 Adam rated it liked it
Shelves: conflict, truetales
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
Mar 30, 2016 Doug rated it really liked it
This book has had an affect on so many people and continued to have effects over the past 70 years.
It is not as well written as Ayn Rand, but it is conceptually similar in that it also has shaped politics, philosophies, and ideologies. Another way in which Alinsky and Rand relate is that both have faith in man and his ability to take charge. The former claims it is for the sake of all mankind and the latter often inferred that helping yourself was the best course of action. They both leave God o
Luke Peterson
Feb 20, 2007 Luke Peterson rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 26, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok
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.
Mar 19, 2008 Monica rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 17, 2008 Rigel rated it it was amazing
the literature of community organizing has many lessons for those of us who wish to try and make the world a better place.
Oct 13, 2009 Jeff rated it liked it
Out of date for today's radicals, but an interesting look back on the liberalism that came out of WWII.
Theadora Davitt-Cornyn
Jun 20, 2009 Theadora Davitt-Cornyn rated it it was ok
a classic i always intended to borrow. finally just got my own.
Nov 28, 2007 Yariella rated it really liked it
one of the most inspirational books i read in college!
Jay Roberts
Nov 08, 2015 Jay Roberts rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
Sarah Palin once said being a small town mayor is sort of like [being] a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities. Looking back in hindsight, we all get that she had no idea what responsibility is or what community organizers do. But she was correct, politicians are often a lot like community organizers. Saul Alinsky could have been like many other community organizers out there. Instead, he published the playbook. Perhaps this is why politician’s like Palin likened him ...more
Diane Karpus
Mar 07, 2016 Diane Karpus rated it did not like it
really? the "heroic" radical sacrificing all for his fellows? drivel!!
Jerome Willner
Nov 16, 2013 Jerome Willner 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.
Sep 16, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it
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
May 01, 2015 Madeline Anderson rated it liked it
Shelves: own
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?
May 10, 2016 sologdin rated it it was ok
Shelves: leftwing-theory
fairly basic 'community organizer' advice. maybe not necessarily 'radical,' but certainly a tactics for oppositional praxis.
Chris Brimmer
Just a refinement but a good back to back read.
Oct 26, 2010 Jane added it
Another page turner from Alinsky
Benjamin Buckley
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May 10, 2016
Nding'A Muindi
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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...

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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.” 171 likes
“Let the liberal turn to the course of action, the course of all radicals, and the amused look vanishes from the face of society as it snarls, “That’s radical!” Society has good reason to fear the radical. Every shaking advance of mankind toward equality and justice has come from the radical. He hits, he hurts, he is dangerous. Conservative interests know that while liberals are most adept at breaking their own necks with their tongues, radicals are most adept at breaking the necks of conservatives.” 15 likes
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