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Radical: A Portrait of Saul Alinsky
The life and legacy of Saul Alinsky, the largely unknown godfather behind American grassroots democracy and an inspiration for Barack Obama
ebook, 256 pages
Published June 29th 2010 by Nation Books
(first published January 1st 2010)
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The author, Nicholas von Hoffman, and Caesar Chavez were hired the same day as organizers by Saul Alinsky. Alinsky is my “rabbi,” my favorite radical, the man who invented community organizing, who avoided the mysticism of non-violence, the lifestyle politics of the 1960s and the ineffective idealism of Christian charity. This portrait of Alinsky is also a picture of Chicago politics in the 1940s and 50s complete with philandering priests, corrupt do-gooders, mob allies and white-ethnics organiz ...more
I enjoyed so many of the stories in this book. The stories told dominated the author's commentary, which I also appreciated. Some of the stories recounted here were very surprising. I do not want to say too much that could be a spoiler for some. For example if someone wanted to know more about César Chávez, von Hoffman references Miriam Pawel's book on him. I do not know (not having read Pawel) is whether the summary is accurate, but to me it was quite surprising and brand new information.
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“In one of his puckish moods Saul talked the president of a university into letting him anonymously take an examination being administered to candidates for a doctorate in community organization. "Three of the questions were on the philosophy of and motivations of Saul Alinsky," writes Saul. "I answered two of them incorrectly.”More quotes…