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Reveille for radicals by Saul D. Alinsky - Cultural Heritage Books

Reveille for Radicals by Saul D. Alinsky


Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press, 1946. Second impression. Hardcover. 228 pages ; 22 cm. $2.50 dust jacket. Missing quarter size piece of the dust jacket, near the spine tail. Dampstain to dust jacket rear. A minor damp stain to the lower right-hand corner of page edges. Pages are age toned. No markings to pages. Binding is firm.

"Red," "Rebel," "Radical," and many unprintable epithets have been part of the attack against Saul D. Alinsky since the spring of 1939. The rest of it has been expressed in ways much rougher and tougher than words. It started when Alinsky turned his back on a brilliant, secure, professional criminological career and went to work with, organize, and fight for the workers in Chicago's notorious Back of the Yards—the Jungle. This marked the beginning of a dramatic rebirth of democracy now spreading amongst the people jammed in America's industrial areas. While Alinsky is hated and feared by many of the "right people," he is loved and respected by the folks across the tracks as a "right guy" and "one of ours."

As Executive Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation and technical advisor to various people's movements, Mr. Alinsky has done the job he set out to do—to help the common people, through their own democratic organizations, to stake out a definite claim in the future of America. His success is based on his fundamental liking for all people, his willingness to work and fight to bring security, dignity, and happiness to every human being.


This book trumpets the call to action to every American as we face the great democratic crisis of today. The heart of this crisis is the people—the very substance of democracy. There the die will be cast: democracy or dictatorship.
This is the story of People's Organizations, ever-growing in number and irrevocably committed to the rallying cry of democracy: "We the people will work out our own destiny." Already more than a quarter of a million strong, with countless others joining in, they are on the march toward a common goal— full democracy for the common man. This is their story, and the story of "ORDERLY REVOLUTION A MICROCOSM OF THE ORDERLY REVOLUTION SLOWLY BUT STEADILY GETTING UNDER WAY THROUGHOUT OUR WHOLE COUNTRY." (Agnes E. Meyer, Washington Post) This book is the manual for that revolution, a compass clearly pointing out the only way we can secure real democracy. It is the way of working directly with the people —not for them or over them, but with them.

In Chicago's Back of the Yards district and three other "Across the Tracks" communities democracy has been literally reborn. There the people, working through their own organizations, are aggressively solving their common problems from juvenile delinquency to adult strikebreaking, from dirty alleys to dirty race relations, from housing to health to economic security. And through this militant process these people have come to recognize their own worth and that of their neighbors, and to know with complete finality that the worth of individual human beings can be understood and respected only in a democracy.

Here is the blow-by-blow story of this hard, dirty, tough, heartbreaking battle to make democracy work, of which the New York Herald Tribune editorially has said: "IT MAY WELL MEAN THE SALVATION OF OUR WAY OF LIFE." This book, written from the first-hand personal experiences of the author and his associates, tells, by specific examples, how People's Organizations are built from the cold bedrock of apathy and disinterest to fiery power in the hands of the**people; how these People's Organizations have been locked in mortal combat with some of the most notorious power blocs in America and have always emerged victorious; why they have earned the undying hatred of all native Fascists.

Fascinating and inspiring is the story of how the people of these communities— all races, nationalities, religions, occupations, and ages—banded together under their own leadership. Working with them and fighting at their side is Saul D. Alinsky, "hardboiled sociologist and criminologist who refuses to pull punches when he believes the welfare of the people with whom he works is being jeopardized." (Chicago Sun)

People's Organizations can be built only by Radicals, just as America could have been begun only by its Radicals. Most of the world today looks to America for leadership, and America stands at the crossroads, indecisive, torn with fear of the unknown future. America, the "new world," fearing the newer world. In every major crisis great Radicals have stepped forth to lead us on to a greater life. The time is now; the place is America; her Radicals must awake. This is the moment for REVEILLE FOR RADICALS.

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