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Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky
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Rules for Radicals (1971)

by Saul Alinsky

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An eye opener which every American should read. Before reading this I had little idea of what an "Organizer" was or what they did. ( )
  GTTexas | Nov 19, 2014 |
You know you're in for a ride when the author dedicates his book to the "first radical who at least won his own kingdom"--Lucifer.

I read this book as I kept hearing about it being the "bible" for liberals. Sitting on the other end of the political spectrum, I felt like it was important for me to understand why those currently (and recently) in power do the things they do. It was a "know thine enemy" kinda thing.

Quite frankly, Saul Alinsky was a pretty brilliant strategist. I find his divisiveness and outlook on life in general and on America specifically quite repugnant, but I can't disagree with much of his tactics and logic. It is terrifying, however, that Obama is a big believer in Alinsky's beliefs...something that can easily be seen in how he reacts to issue and runs his administration.

The beauty of America is that Alinsky is free to write books that encourage people to essentially take what isn't theirs and find justifications for it.

I found the second half of the book more interesting than the first as it offer more case studies and examples and wasn't quite so abstract. I'd encourage anyone to read it, but most especially those who are conservative so they can better understand what drives people like our Community Organizer in Chief and his ilk. ( )
  Jarratt | Aug 10, 2014 |
Interesting to say the least.
I approached this book with a bit of trepidation wondering what in here was so amazing that people are clamoring to it. When you read this it is important to keep two things in mind. 1 - much of what is in here was extremely effective in the past. 2 - since many of these tactics are out of popular use today they can be used again and have the same impact.
There is much to learn here on how to create and how to defend from radicals. Mr. Alinsky points out how to do much of this from the liberal side of the political spectrum but there is nothing that could not be adapted to any other political faction. ( )
  gopfolk | Nov 15, 2013 |
This book was unsettling, but educational. Looking at how to institute real change, not just talk about it, needs a single-mindedness that may be beyond me. Glad I read it, though. ( )
  Jessica_Olin | Apr 1, 2013 |
So this is the infamous Rules for Radicals. Believed by some on the far right as the Gospel according to St. Stalin of the Church of Satanic-Marxism-Leninism.

To be fair, it does hold interesting discussions of community organization, communication, across class and racial bounds to demand reform. Something which will upset conservatives, naturally, as they prefer for things to stay the same, or changed more slowly. There is much valuable to be learned here, for both left and right.

The big gripe is his discussion of ends and means, and his ultra-pragmatic view of them, and avocation of any tactic necessary. If one is in a position of lesser monetary power or political connections, you may well fight like this. It is perhaps the only way to win.

Of course, any good little boy or girl who has read their Robert Caro (or god forbid, entered the system) knows that power and power struggles are everything in politics. Everybody uses these ugly tactics, from socialists to reactionaries. The moral element in politics is either a covering, a fools errand, or a reserved for visionaries and prophets, whether deranged or true. But even Christ said, "I come not to bring peace, but a sword". I accept it, but I do not pretend to love it.

And what happens to the radical or the organizer once they gain power? Shall the revolutionary become the tyrant? Of course, power struggles are always an ugly thing. If I ever decide to go into politics for good, I will refer to this book almost biblically, and then delete this review. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
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What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be.
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To pander to those who have no stomach for straight language, and insist upon bland, non controversial sauces, is a waste of time... I do not propose to be trapped by tact at the expense of truth.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679721134, Paperback)

First published in 1971, Rules for Radicals is Saul Alinsky's impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change and know “the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one.” Written in the midst of radical political developments whose direction Alinsky was one of the first to question, this volume exhibits his style at its best. Like Thomas Paine before him, Alinsky was able to combine, both in his person and his writing, the intensity of political engagement with an absolute insistence on rational political discourse and adherence to the American democratic tradition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:41 -0400)

Guides young revolutionaries in the art of human communication and explains the tactics of organizing others to work within the system for social change.

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