Political Action: A Practical Guide to Movement Politics

Political Action: A Practical Guide to Movement Politics


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Political Action: A Practical Guide to Movement Politics by Michael Walzer

Political theorist Michael Walzer's classic guide is a perfect introduction to social activism, including what-to-do advice for deciding which issues to take on, organizing, fundraising, and providing effective leadership

Michael Walzer is one of the finest political philosophers of our time, but Political Action is, true to its title, not a book of theory but a manual for taking action. Written in the early 1970s and drawing on Walzer's own experience as an activist in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, Political Action concisely sets out the goals and constraints of movement politics and describes how activists can keep going in the face of disappointment and even defeat. The book offers more than a "how-to"; it provides a "what-to-do." It covers in careful detail the problems that inevitably arise when people come together from shared outrage or fear of looming disaster: whether to focus on one issue or many; whether and how to work in electoral politics; how to raise money; when to and when not to join coalitions; how to organize democratically; how to provide effective leadership--and much more. Through it all, Walzer insists on the centrality of political resistance to the life of a democratic society, and talks of the deep satisfaction that can only come from active political engagement.

Political Action remains as clear-sighted, practical, inspiring, and necessary a book today as when came it out almost fifty years ago.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681373539
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Michael Walzer, one of America's foremost political thinkers, is a professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He served as the co-editor of the political journal Dissent for more than three decades and has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy. His most recent book is A Foreign Policy for the Left.

Jon Wiener is the host and producer of Start Making Sense, The Nation's weekly podcast, and a longtime contributing editor at The Nation. He is a professor emeritus of history at the University of California, Irvine, and his most recent book is How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey Across America. He lives in Los Angeles.