Saul Alinsky

1960s: Days of Rage

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was an American community activist and political theorist. His work through the Chicago-based Industrial Areas Foundation helping poor communities organize to press demands upon landlords, politicians, economists, bankers and business leaders won him national recognition and notoriety. Responding to the impatience of a New Left generation of activists in the 1960s, Alinsky – in his widely cited Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer (1971) – defended the arts both of confrontation and of compromise involved in community organizing as keys to the struggle for social justice. Beginning in the 1990s, Alinsky’s reputation was revived by commentators on the political Right as a source of tactical inspiration for the RepublicanTea Party Movement and, subsequently, by virtue of indirect associations with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as the alleged source of a radical Democratic political agenda…

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