Chicago-born social activist Saul Alinsky's sharp criticism of what he saw as shortcomings in the civil rights movement and the federal war on poverty make this book timely. Photos. (Apr.)
This is an important account of a ``complex and idiosyncratic'' urban populist who insisted that power was the keystone of social change. Horwitt expands on the work done by P. David Finks in The Radical Vision of Saul Alinsky ( LJ 7/84) to produce a comprehensive appraisal of Alinksy's ``colorful confrontational tactics'' as a community organizer and his influence on a ``succeeding generation of social activists.'' Streetwise yet reflective, Alinsky was a true believer in the possibility of American democracy as a means of attaining social justice ``for ordinary people.'' Horwitt has done an especially good job discussing Alinsky's youth and personal life. An insightful and well-written study, recommended for all academic and larger public libraries.-- John R. Sillito, Weber State Coll. Lib., Ogden, Ut.