Reveille for radicals

by Saul Alinsky

Paper Book, 1969




New York : Vintage Books, 1989, c1969.


Saul Alinsky explains his current views on political activism in a new introduction to his classic study of radical thought and methodology.

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Reveille For Radicals could be the prequel for Rules for Radicals. These two books are stand alone volumes, but equally accentuate the other, as they deal with the same ideal. The idea of Alinsky's two books is his labor of love: community organizing.

Put in the parlance of military action - not too far off from some aspects of community activism - these two books serve the same purpose via two different means.

This book, Reveille for Radicals would be akin to 'why we fight.' Alinsky provides his philosophical rationale behind community activism to those who are not ingratiated to the work and confirms the benevolence of the task to those already struggling in the activity. He incorporates letters, or "reports", from those already organizing to purport what is effective and some correspondence to highlight what is less productive. This book, as reveille conjures up, is a call to arms; a rallying call to enlist more activists. It really also hopes to be the "glue" by which disassociated groups hope to adhere to one goal.

Conversely, his second book, Rules for Radicals, would be a dissertation on strategy. He discusses and enumerates rules or tactics. Again, Alinsky provides personal and compatriot anecdotes to buttress the rationale of these tactics.

Subject aside, the writing is clear and effective.
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