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
Below are some discussion questions to think about while reading or after, if you have already finished:
1. What most impressed you about the author and the children with whom he came into contact? Did any aspect of the story upset you? Did Conor’s story inspire you?
2. In your opinion, what was it about these children that touched Conor so deeply? Were you moved by their plight? What about the increasing number of children growing up in poverty in America? Do you see these children in the same way, or do you see their situations differently?
3. How might American children help their counterparts in places like Nepal? Thinking about the Little Princes, do you think we as Americans spoil our children and ourselves — do we buy more than what can truly be appreciated?
4. When Conor returned to Nepal he met the mother of one of the Little Princes. How did this affect him personally? And how did it influence the course of events that followed?
5. How did volunteering at Little Princes prepare Conor for having a family of his own? What did these children teach him about himself and the world?
6. At the beginning of Little Princes, Conor did not see himself as a global humanitarian, yet his visit to Nepal changed everything. What is it about him — and others like him introduced in Little Princes — that sets him apart from those who don’t volunteer or get involved?
7. How did Golkka, the man who trafficked many of these children, get away with his nefarious practices for so long? Human trafficking has become a worldwide problem, affecting millions. Why has it flourished and what steps might help stop it? How might you play a role? Would you consider doing so? Why or why not?
8. Do you empathize with the parents of the Little Princes children and others? Do you understand why they gave their children up? What might you do given similar circumstances?
9. What lessons did you take away from reading Little Princes?
The Time Traveler’s Wife By Audrey Niffenegger
A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.
An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler’s Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.