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Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice
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Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Roots for Radicals is a distillation of the IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation) philosophy and its unique approach to community organizing. The IAF is the oldest and largest institution for community organizing in the United States. For sixty years, its mission has been to train people to take responsibility for solving the problems in their own communities and to renew the ...more
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published July 22nd 2003 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published July 2003)
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Roots for Radicals by Ed Brown posits that the best way to re-engage the American public in political issues is to develop broad-based community organizations. Mr. Brown studied under the tutelage of Saul Alinksy, and this book completes Alinsky's trilogy on community organizing. While I am not ready to pursue the broad-based organizing that Brown encourages, and I don't always agree with the tactics described in the book, reading Roots for Radicals did make me more willing to listen to, or part ...more
Awesome. This book is a great introduction to principles of organizing based on the experience of the veteran organizer Ed Chambers. Chambers founded the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) in order to reflect upon and institutionalize more than a decade of organizing work he did with Saul Alinsky. This book is great for those who wants to better understand the concept of power, for those who find themselves overwhelmed by cynicism about public policy, and for those who want to understand the diff ...more
Oct 11, 2011 Mimi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in social change
I've been reading this book for three years. It's a slim volum (abour 150 pages) but the text is dense, and completely worth it. Ed Chambers gives a step by step on how to organize for social change based on his decades of experience under Saul Alinsky and with the Industrial Areas Foundation. While this give a good back round, it also lays clear that a book will not change the world, but that we must all go out and engage and agitate each other.
Ryan Greer
For a slim book it's still a relatively tough read. Organizing for social action is not something I'm all that familiar with, and while this book helped with that somewhat, I still had difficulty identifying with many of the points Chambers describes. I would probably rate it higher if I had more experience in the field, as it stands much of the book came off more as a "Leadership How-To" Manual rather than an introduction into social action.
Jim Talbott
Fantastic book. Takes a long time to get through because some of the concepts are relatively foreign (at least to me). Not sure how to move forward though. We live in a place without IAF affiliates, but we'll see if we can change that.
I'd give this 6 stars if I had the option. Practical and profound, is informing my approach to my work and the people I work with in important ways.
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