The tactics and strategy of Alinsky, who died in 1972, have been studied by people as diverse as Barack Obama, Csar Chavez, Hilary Clinton, Dick Armey, the Tea Partiers and activists and organizers of every persuasion. Thousands of organizations ...
around the country owe their inspiration and origins to Alinsky, who is to community organizing what Freud is to psychoanalysis. As told by his friend and protg Nicholas von Hoffman, whom Alinsky dubbed ""in all the world my favorite drinking, talking, and thinking companion,"" Radical is an intimate look at the man who made a career of arming the powerless and enraging the powerful. From Alinsky's smuggling guinea pigs into the Joilet state penitentiary to the famous Buffalo fart-in, von Hoffman's book reveals the humor as well as the ideals and anger that drove Alinsky to become a major figure in a democratic tradition dating back to Tom Paine. Many of the stories about politicians, bishops, gangsters, millionaires and labor leaders, which Alinsky did not want made public in his lifetime, are told here for the first time in Radical. Von Hoffman captures Alinsky's brilliant critique of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s organizational tactics and where and why they succeeded or failed. Alinsky's career began in the politics and violence of the Great Depression and worked its way through the Communist threat, the racial struggles and the Vietnam War protests of the second half of the twentieth century.