For several decades Michael Gecan has worked with groups that serve their communities when conservative get-tough rhetoric and endless liberal programs do not cut it.
In After America's Midlife Crisis, Gecan reveals an urban landscape in which careerism, nepotism, and greed are the principal movers in policy, while the institutions that preserve and advance communities — schools, churches, affordable housing, recreational opportunities — have fallen prey to the indifference of pols and developers and the shortsightedness of technocrats.
But Gecan would not be a lifelong organizer if he did not see the possibility for change. With relational work — the heart of organizing — at the center of new efforts, he shows how local experiments can create vibrant institutions that truly serve their constituents. Most importantly, he calls on national and local leadership to shed old ways of thinking and face new realities.
MICHAEL GECAN, a veteran organizer who trained with Saul Alinsky, is an executive member of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). He has worked in both Chicago and New York City and is the author of Going Public: An Organizer's Guide to Citizen Action
as well as Effective Organizing for Congregational Renewal