Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America

Blessed Are the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America

by Jeffrey Stout
     
 

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 Many Americans are doubtful, and have withdrawn into apathy and cynicism.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… See more details below

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 Many Americans are doubtful, and have withdrawn into apathy and cynicism.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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691135861
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/31/2010
Pages:
368
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.

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

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