He working on thesis generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing.
In the course of nearly four decades of political organizing, Alinsky received much criticism, but he also gained praise from many public figures. His organizing skills were focused on improving the living conditions of poor communities across the United States. In the 1950s, he began turning his attention to improving conditions in the black ghettos, beginning with Chicago’s and later traveling to ghettos in California, Michigan, New York City, and a dozen other «trouble spots». In the 1960s, his ideas were adapted by some U. Saul David Alinsky was born in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, to Russian Jewish immigrant parents, the only surviving son of Benjamin Alinsky’s marriage to his second wife, Sarah Tannenbaum Alinsky. Alinsky stated during an interview that his parents never became involved in the «new socialist movement». Because of his strict Jewish upbringing, he was asked whether he ever encountered antisemitism while growing up in Chicago.
In 1930, Alinsky graduated with a Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago, where he majored in archaeology, a subject that fascinated him. After attending two years of graduate school at the University of Chicago, he accepted work for the State of Illinois as a criminologist. As a result of his efforts and success at working on thesis slum communities, Alinsky spent the next 10 years repeating his organizational work across the nation, «from Kansas City and Detroit to the barrios of Southern California. By 1950 he turned his attention to the Black ghettos of Chicago.
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In the book, he addressed the 1960s generation of radicals, outlining his views on organizing for mass power. What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. 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. Alinsky did not join political parties. I’ve never joined any organization—not even the ones I’ve organized myself.
I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism. In Alinsky’s view, new voices and new values were being heard in the U. John Donne’s ‘No man is an island.
Negroes were being lynched regularly in the South as the first stirrings of black opposition began to be felt, and many of the white civil rights organizers and labor agitators who had started to work with them were tarred and feathered, castrated—or killed. Most Southern politicians were members of the Ku Klux Klan and had no compunction about boasting of it. The job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy’. The hysterical instant reaction of the establishment not only validate credentials of competency but also ensure automatic popular invitation.
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