BN.com Gift Guide

Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $16.96
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 43%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $16.96   
  • New (5) from $22.13   
  • Used (8) from $16.96   

Overview

In an America where the rich and fortunate have free rein to do as they please, can the ideal of liberty and justice for all be anything but an empty slogan? Many Americans are doubtful, and have withdrawn into apathy and cynicism. But thousands of others are not ready to give up on democracy just yet. Working outside the notice of the national media, ordinary citizens across the nation are meeting in living rooms, church basements, synagogues, and schools to identify shared concerns, select and cultivate leaders, and take action. Their goal is to hold big government and big business accountable. In this important new book, Jeffrey Stout bears witness to the successes and failures of progressive grassroots organizing, and the daunting forces now arrayed against it. Stout tells vivid stories of people fighting entrenched economic and political interests around the country. From parents and teachers striving to overcome gang violence in South Central Los Angeles, to a Latino priest north of the Rio Grande who brings his parish into a citizens' organization, to the New Orleans residents who get out the vote by taking a jazz band through streets devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Stout describes how these ordinary people conceive of citizenship, how they acquire and exercise power, and how religious ideas and institutions contribute to their successes. The most important book on organizing and grassroots democracy in a generation, Blessed Are the Organized is a passionate and hopeful account of how our endangered democratic principles can be put into action.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Soujorners Magazine
Blessed Are the Organized should be required reading for anyone who cares about the future of democracy in the United States, and anyone who cares about the making of politics.
— Lauren F. Winner
New York Journal of Books
Blessed Are the Organized has a good chance for mass appeal because of the timeliness and the timelessness of the subject. The book is about the little fighting back in big numbers to get the attention of the powerful. Jeffrey Stout shows how it is done in a number of situations. It works.
— John Presta
Commonweal
Stout offers a penetrating tour of the organizing efforts of Southwest IAF affiliates, from the devastated neighborhoods of post-Katrina New Orleans, to the shantytown colonias of the Rio Grande valley in Texas, to the crime-ridden neighborhoods of southeast Los Angeles, to a meeting of more affluent democrats in a Marin County synagogue. He gives us a kind of thick ethnographic description of grassroots, face-to-face democracy, seeking in the stories he hears and the events he witnesses to discern the governing principles and practices of a democratic counterculture that has developed largely under the radar of the media spectacles that pass for American public life. . . . The bulk of Stout's book is devoted to a full, often moving, account of these organizing practices at work—not only successfully but unsuccessfully. . . . Incisive as his theoretical abstractions from these stories are, Stout's greater gift to democrats may lie in bringing to light the struggles, and especially the victories, of the largely obscure men and women who populate his narrative. . . . One can only wish for this heartening book a large, wide, and diverse audience. Few will welcome it more than those democrats who, as Stout once did, find themselves stammering for some answers in the face of the skepticism and despair over democracy's future that grip our faded republic.
— Robert Westbrook
Choice
Stout's book is a must-read for an understanding of citizen participation at all levels of organized problem solving in U.S. government and politics.
Tikkun
Stout provides useful wisdom for those who will not settle for less than a genuine democratic transformation of our society.
y Yo1k blog

Blessed Are the Organized is a crucially important work that . . . analyses our political system through the eyes of the underdogs. This perspective of the periphery is a rare sight in a world dominated by the elite agenda of the mainstream media.
CEU Political Science Journal
Written in a dynamic style and insisting on characters' profiles, Stout's book is a useful supplement, with data specific to contemporary society, to the political anthropology studies whose main theme is how democratic communities function.
— Daniel Sandru
E@sy Yo1k blog
Blessed Are the Organized is a crucially important work that . . . analyses our political system through the eyes of the underdogs. This perspective of the periphery is a rare sight in a world dominated by the elite agenda of the mainstream media.
Soujorners Magazine - Lauren F. Winner
Blessed Are the Organized should be required reading for anyone who cares about the future of democracy in the United States, and anyone who cares about the making of politics.
New York Journal of Books - John Presta
Blessed Are the Organized has a good chance for mass appeal because of the timeliness and the timelessness of the subject. The book is about the little fighting back in big numbers to get the attention of the powerful. Jeffrey Stout shows how it is done in a number of situations. It works.
Commonweal - Robert Westbrook
Stout offers a penetrating tour of the organizing efforts of Southwest IAF affiliates, from the devastated neighborhoods of post-Katrina New Orleans, to the shantytown colonias of the Rio Grande valley in Texas, to the crime-ridden neighborhoods of southeast Los Angeles, to a meeting of more affluent democrats in a Marin County synagogue. He gives us a kind of thick ethnographic description of grassroots, face-to-face democracy, seeking in the stories he hears and the events he witnesses to discern the governing principles and practices of a democratic counterculture that has developed largely under the radar of the media spectacles that pass for American public life. . . . The bulk of Stout's book is devoted to a full, often moving, account of these organizing practices at work—not only successfully but unsuccessfully. . . . Incisive as his theoretical abstractions from these stories are, Stout's greater gift to democrats may lie in bringing to light the struggles, and especially the victories, of the largely obscure men and women who populate his narrative. . . . One can only wish for this heartening book a large, wide, and diverse audience. Few will welcome it more than those democrats who, as Stout once did, find themselves stammering for some answers in the face of the skepticism and despair over democracy's future that grip our faded republic.
CEU Political Science Journal - Daniel Sandru
Written in a dynamic style and insisting on characters' profiles, Stout's book is a useful supplement, with data specific to contemporary society, to the political anthropology studies whose main theme is how democratic communities function.
From the Publisher
"Blessed Are the Organized should be required reading for anyone who cares about the future of democracy in the United States, and anyone who cares about the making of politics."—Lauren F. Winner, Soujorners Magazine

"Blessed Are the Organized has a good chance for mass appeal because of the timeliness and the timelessness of the subject. The book is about the little fighting back in big numbers to get the attention of the powerful. Jeffrey Stout shows how it is done in a number of situations. It works."—John Presta, New York Journal of Books

"Stout offers a penetrating tour of the organizing efforts of Southwest IAF affiliates, from the devastated neighborhoods of post-Katrina New Orleans, to the shantytown colonias of the Rio Grande valley in Texas, to the crime-ridden neighborhoods of southeast Los Angeles, to a meeting of more affluent democrats in a Marin County synagogue. He gives us a kind of thick ethnographic description of grassroots, face-to-face democracy, seeking in the stories he hears and the events he witnesses to discern the governing principles and practices of a democratic counterculture that has developed largely under the radar of the media spectacles that pass for American public life. . . . The bulk of Stout's book is devoted to a full, often moving, account of these organizing practices at work—not only successfully but unsuccessfully. . . . Incisive as his theoretical abstractions from these stories are, Stout's greater gift to democrats may lie in bringing to light the struggles, and especially the victories, of the largely obscure men and women who populate his narrative. . . . One can only wish for this heartening book a large, wide, and diverse audience. Few will welcome it more than those democrats who, as Stout once did, find themselves stammering for some answers in the face of the skepticism and despair over democracy's future that grip our faded republic."—Robert Westbrook, Commonweal

"Stout's book is a must-read for an understanding of citizen participation at all levels of organized problem solving in U.S. government and politics."Choice

"Stout provides useful wisdom for those who will not settle for less than a genuine democratic transformation of our society."Tikkun

"Blessed Are the Organized is a crucially important work that . . . analyses our political system through the eyes of the underdogs. This perspective of the periphery is a rare sight in a world dominated by the elite agenda of the mainstream media."—E@sy Yo1k blog

"Written in a dynamic style and insisting on characters' profiles, Stout's book is a useful supplement, with data specific to contemporary society, to the political anthropology studies whose main theme is how democratic communities function."—Daniel Sandru, CEU Political Science Journal

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691135861
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 539,595
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Stout is professor of religion at Princeton University. His books include "Ethics After Babel" and "Democracy and Tradition" (both Princeton). He is past president of the American Academy of Religion and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Maps xi
Preface xiii
Chapter One: The Responsibilities of a Citizen 1
Chapter Two: A Power Analysis 21
Chapter Three: Organizing for the Common Good 34
Chapter Four: Rites of Solidarity, Commitment, and Mourning 45
Chapter Five: Domination, Anger, and Grief 53
Chapter Six: Public Address 70
Chapter Seven: Ain't It Awful? 85
Chapter Eight: The Authority to Lead 93
Chapter Nine: On the Treatment of Opponents 114
Chapter Ten: Organize, Reflect, and Reorganize 125
Chapter Eleven: The Compelling Force of the Ideal 134
Chapter Twelve: Face-to-Face Meetings 148
Chapter Thirteen: The Passion of St. Rose 165
Chapter Fourteen: Blood and Harmony 181
Chapter Fifteen: Fathers and Sisters for Life 186
Chapter Sixteen: Pastors and Flocks 196
Chapter Seventeen: The Contested Sacred 210
Chapter Eighteen: Across Great Scars of Wrong 235
Chapter Nineteen: The Organizer President 260
Chapter Twenty: Walking in Our Sleep 278
Acknowledgments 291
Notes 295
Index 329

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)