Rules for Radicals

Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals - Saul D. Alinsky I did not rate this higher because there were moments when I found myself struggling with some of Alinsky's ideas. A part of me wondered what Alinsky would have made of the current political climate. Would he still recommend some of the ideas and rules he promoted? Would he have become more radical? Lost hope given that it is extremely difficult to keep hope in this current political environment in the U.S.? I guess as a reader I struggled because sometimes I thought he was too optimistic. And yet, if you read this book, you will find that Alinsky can be very Machiavellian. You will also find that a lot of what he writes about is very relevant today. To be honest, I found the last chapter to be very prophetic. So you see why I struggled a bit with it; there seem to be two sides. I picked the book up out of curiosity. I read somewhere that Barrack Obama had read it, and the book was an influence for his community organizing work. I can see why. This book is a primer for community organizing. If you want to learn what it takes to be an effective community organizer, this is a book you should be reading. Now, do keep in mind this book was written in 1971, so there are a lot of references to events prior to that year, a lot of things related to the struggle for civil rights, so on. Having some small grasp of American history at the time will probably be helpful because he uses a lot of examples to illustrate his principles and rules. However, the principles and rules are basically universal; they can be applicable today just as they were at the time the book was written. In addition, this is a book that will make you think. You may agree with some things, disagree with others, but overall, this is a useful book if you want to learn how to be a radical and a community organizer, and I don't mean radical in the negative sense certain people use it today. I think it is a book more people should be reading to educate themselves and others. Overall, I did like it.