2nd out of 10 books — 5 voters
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Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change
From the Enron scandal to global warming, from the war on terrorism to the war on drugs, a growing number of people are unhappy with the status quo. Yet those genuinely interested in reading about the issues find that few contemporary theorists are seriously committed to accessible, clear writing. Furthermore, the mainstream media rarely represents social movements, and ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by South End Press
(first published 2003)
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I feel a thousand times smarter for reading this book. Or, at least, a thousand times less ignorant; more equipped; better able to understand. It's a perfect introduction to the world of left-wing politics. I've already recommended it to a few people and lent it to one other. It essentially devotes a few pages each to every kind of social justice movement; from vanguardism to children's rights; from radical feminism to environmentalism. She summarizes everything so well that even adherents to ...more
This is probably one of my all time favorite accidental buys. I found it while wondering a bookstore in Seattle and snatched it up. It was great! I like how it gives a good foundation for a number of different types of action, explaining the philosophy and ideas behind it, and uses clear and accessible language to do so. I'm hoping to use it for a class in the near future.
Cynthia Kaufman was my professor at De Anza college (almost 20 years ago) back when I was a little dykling exploring my beliefs, politics and,well, my voice. She was an inspiration and I will always value all that I learned in her class. This book is a microcosm of all that I took away from my classroom experience as it demonstrates her ability to explore ideas, critically analyze pros/cons of theories and engage the reader in the excitement and possibility of change.
It may seem like I'm avoiding sharing politics with friends when I suggest a book instead of holding forth and being precious about my own opinions, but I find it distasteful and suspect to assume mentor/student relationships with other adults. IDEAS FOR ACTION is an excellent foundation for those interested enough to investigate on their own and discuss things as peers. It's also a good way to filter out people who just want me to tell them how to think. Win-win.
Kaufman's book is amazing in its ability to relate social and political theories to our very real and pressing problems. She goes ones step further by giving us a sense of hope in her action components. Overall, a beautifully thoughtful and intelligent book.