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November 07 , 2010

People Power

The Community Organizing Tradition of Saul Alinsky


Saul Alinsky, according to Time Magazine in 1970, was a "prophet of power to the people," someone who "has possibly antagonized more people . . . than any other living American." People Power introduces the major organizers who adopted and modified Alinsky's vision across the United States:

– Fred Ross, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and the Community Service Organization and National Farm Workers Association
– Nicholas von Hoffman and the Woodlawn Organization
– Tom Gaudette and the Northwest Community Organization
– Ed Chambers, Richard Harmon, and the Industrial Areas Foundation
– Shel Trapp, Gale Cincotta, and National People's Action
– Heather Booth, Midwest Academy, and Citizen Action
– Wade Rathke and ACORN

Weaving classic texts with interviews and their own context-setting commentaries, the editors of People Power provide the first comprehensive history of Alinsky-based organizing in the tumultuous period from 1955 to 1980, when the key organizing groups in the United States took form. Many of these selections – previously available only on untranscribed audiotapes or in difficult-to-read mimeograph or Xerox formats – appear in print here for the first time.

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