Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals by Saul Alinsky
Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins– or which is which), the fist radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.
Saul Alinsky was an apt community organizer and thought to be the father of modern community organizing as we know it today. Saul worked in the black ghettos of Chicago and traveled to ghettos across the United States to better the lives of citizens in the most poverty stricken areas.
Though many thought his ideas and work to be communistic, he never affiliated with any party claiming his own independence far too important a thing to write away. Nor did he hold a great respect for many political leaders of his time. Here is a quote from his 1972 publication that holds an almost scary resemblance to the tune we hear so often today:
Alinsky described his plans for 1972 to begin to organize the white middle-class across the United States, and the necessity of that project. He believed that many Americans were living in frustration and despair, worried about their future, and ripe for a turn to radical social change, to become politically active citizens. He feared the middle class could be driven to a right-wing viewpoint, “making them ripe for the plucking by some guy on horseback promising a return to the vanished verities of yesterday”. His stated motive: “I love this goddamn country, and we’re going to take it back.
This quote was taken from Wikipedia as well as cited from a Playboy article and should therefore be taken with a grain of salt. However, this would be the most prophetic notion of his many works. Therefore in March, even though it is Women’s Mont, we will be reading Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky, because he wanted to unify America and the United States and that is something we are in dire need of at this point in our history.
Get the PDF Version of Rules for Radicals Here
Hope you are enjoying The Notorious RBG! Because this is such a stellar telling of the life of a key feminist of the past century, I wanted to point out some other seminal feminist pieces!
By: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDun
This book beautifully explains that while feminism is something we continually need to strive for in the US and other developed countries, the suffering and need is necessary on a global scale. They discuss sex trafficking as well as skills building and loans. Amazing story telling coupled with informative narrative really makes this an astounding read.
By: Caitlin Moran
Caitlin Moran is a fabulous comedian from the UK. Within her book she discusses the hilarious stories and heart wrenching pitfalls of growing into a woman that respects herself and fights for equality. Her audiobook had be in tears from laughing and then yelling from injustice. This book is not informative to the plight of the gender, but it is a great narrative delivered with comedy and snark.
Of course the list could go on and on! However these are two on either end of the spectrum in terms of feminist lit. I have always considered myself a feminist, but have just begun reading a variety of materials on the topic. Both of these selections I read as a result of Our Shared Shelf, Emma Watson’s feminist book club. Her picks are so enlightening and not always what we expect. So please check out their group on Goodreads for more recommendations!
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
New York Times Bestseller
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg never asked for fame—she has only tried to make the world a little better and a little freer.
But nearly a half-century into her career, something funny happened to the octogenarian: she won the internet. Across America, people who weren’t even born when Ginsburg first made her name as a feminist pioneer are tattooing themselves with her face, setting her famously searing dissents to music, and making viral videos in tribute.
Notorious RBG, inspired by the Tumblr that amused the Justice herself and brought to you by its founder and an award-winning feminist journalist, is more than just a love letter. It draws on intimate access to Ginsburg’s family members, close friends, colleagues, and clerks, as well an interview with the Justice herself. An original hybrid of reported narrative, annotated dissents, rare archival photos and documents, and illustrations, the book tells a never-before-told story of an unusual and transformative woman who transcends generational divides. As the country struggles with the unfinished business of gender equality and civil rights, Ginsburg stands as a testament to how far we can come with a little chutzpah.