Examines the ideas of two controversial figures in adult education, Antonio Gramsci and Paulo Freire. The author analyzes these "radical heroes" in the context of their significance to the development of a radical politics of adult education, that is, adult education with an agenda rooted in social consciousness. She argues that the two are central to the study of adult education because both thinkers were interested in the ways that power wielders sought to engage citizens. Both the similarities and the divergences of their thinking are examined. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.