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In Tacoma on the second and third Monday evenings in September, UFPPC's book discussion group will be examining three books on the life and ideas of Saul Alinsky, the legendary American radical organizer whose works have inspired several generations of activists.[1]  -- The volumes to be discussed:  --  Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals (1971) and Reveille for Radicals (1946; revised 1969);  --  Sanford D. Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky: His Life and Legacy (1992);  --  Digging Deeper meets Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café in Tacoma.  --  More information below....

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WHAT:  Digging Deeper XXXV: The LIfe and Ideas of Saul Alinsky
WHO:  Led by Mark Jensen
WHEN:  Monday, September 10 & 17, 2007 -- 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
WHERE:  Mandolin Café, 3923 South 12th St., Tacoma, WA 98405

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United for Peace
of Pierce County (WA)
Study Circle:
September 10 & 17, 2007
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DIGGING DEEPER XXXV: The Life and Ideas of Sol Alinsky

Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) has been called “the father of community organizing.”  His work has deeply influenced figures like Cesar Chavez, but also mainstream politicians like Hillary Rodham (who analyzed his model in her senior honors thesis as Wellesley) and Barack Obama (who used his techniques when working with community organizations in Chicago in the 1980s).  Chicago’s Back of the Yards, the district made famous by Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, was Alinsky’s primary terrain for social organizing.  He started the Industrial Areas Foundation, training organizers and helping to found community organizations in other parts of the U.S.  Alinsky advocated working within the system, and was a critic of armchair liberalism.  He is sometimes credited with laying the foundation for the grassroots political organizing of the 1960s.  Later in his life he encouraged stockholders in publicly held corporations to use their proxies as an instrument to effect social change, a view that took hold in U.S. progressive circles decades later when shareholder actions were organized against American corporations.  Alinsky was awarded the Pacem in Terris Award, named after Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical letter calling on all people of good will to secure peace among all nations.  — Digging Deeper will spend two weeks discussing three works by and about Saul Alinsky:

—Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals (Vintage, 1989; orig. publ. 1971).  Saul Alinsky’s best-known work proposes “to present an arrangement of certain facts and general concepts of change, a step toward a science of revolution.”  He builds on the tactical principles of Machiavelli: “The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power.  Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-nots on how to take it away.”  Rules for Radicals is concerned with the acquisition of power:  “My aim here is to suggest how to organize for power:  how to get it and how to use it.”  Alinsky presents thirteen rules.  The first:  “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”

—Saul Alinsky, Reveille for Radicals (Vintage, 1989; orig. publ. 1946).  “First published in 1946 and updated in 1969 with a new Introduction and Afterword, this volume represents the fullest statement of the political philosophy and practical methodology of one of the most important figures in the history of American radicalism.&nbps; Like Thomas Paine before him, Saul Alinsky, through the concept and practice of community organizing, was able to embody for his era both the urgency of radical political action and the imperative of rational political discourse.  His work and writing bequeathed a new method and style of social change to American communities that will remain a permanent part of the American political landscape.” —Book description.

—Sanford D. Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky: His Life and Legacy (Vintage, 1992).  “This is an important account of a ‘complex and idiosyncratic’ urban populist who insisted that power was the keystone of social change.  Horwitt expands on the work done by P. David Finks in The Radical Vision of Saul Alinsky to produce a comprehensive appraisal of Alinksy’s ‘colorful confrontational tactics’ as a community organizer and his influence on a ‘succeeding generation of social activists.’  Streetwise yet reflective, Alinsky was a true believer in the possibility of American democracy as a means of attaining social justice ‘for ordinary people.’  Horwitt has done an especially good job discussing Alinsky’s youth and personal life.”  —Library Journal.

MEETING SCHEDULE — Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA.

No charge for participation. Some copies available for loan or sale. Contact: Mark Jensen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 253-756-7519).

Regular meetings of United for Peace of Pierce County are held at 6:30 p.m. on 1st Thursdays and at 7:00 p.m. on 3rd Thursdays at First Congregational Church, 209 S. “J” St., Tacoma, WA

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United for Peace
of Pierce County (WA)
Study Circle:
September 10 & 17, 2007
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