Home Title List Category List

The Popular Education and Community Organizing Collection Annotated Bibliography

Publication Detail

Last Update: 09-Oct-2005 10:27:05 am


Organizing for Social change: A Manual For Activists in the 1990s. Third Edition


Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall, and Steve Max


Seven Locks Press for The Midwest Academy







Seven Locks Press, P.O. Box 25689,Santa Ana CA 92799, Phone: 1-800-354-5348 or Midwest Academy, 225 W. Ohio, Suite 250, chicago IL 60610, Phone: 312-645-6010





This is a handbook on the fundamentals of direct action organizing from the Alinsky organization the Midwest Academy. According to its authors direct action implies a majority strategy. Much of its power derives from the fear haunting all elected officials they will be defeated at the polls by angry citizens, or a corporation's fear that it will face massive consumer pressure. This means that direct action works best with issues that majority of the population would support, or at least not actively oppose. Nevertheless this book's guidelines for thinking and strategically, and its recommendations on organizing skills are also useful for working on other, less popular, justice issues. The book focuses on direct action because the authors believe it is the best method for building local activist based membership organizations as well as larger state and national coalitions. This book uses broadly applicable examples from different types of direct action organizations and issues. Readers who don't see their particular type of organizations or issues mentioned should not assume that the approach does not apply to them. The sections on strategy, including criteria for choosing issues and mapping issue campaigns, can be directly applied to the widest range of constituencies, issues, and organizations from the national level. The book treats issue organizing and elections as part of a single process. Although many organizations do not endorse candidates, an election is nonetheless part of the political environment in which an issue campaign takes place. From this manual you will learn a systematic approach to the techniques of organizing, of building and using power, and of creating lasting institutions that are both self defense organizations and avenues for citizen participation in public life. You can treat this volume like a cook book, and go directly to the chapter that has the recipe for whatever you are doing at the moment. The authors urge you not to do this, though, because you will miss, according to them, the two underlying themes of the book: First, all aspects of organizing are related, making an organization the sum total of what it actually does, not of what you intended it to be at the start, and second, the real goals of organizing go beyond the immediate issues; they are to build the unity and power of all who want control over their own lives. The main sections of the book are Direct Action Organizing, Organizing Skills, Support for Organization, and Resources.




Back to Top
Popular Education Resource Library
Generator version: Version 1