The fight against globalization and the war in Iraq has led to a revival of grassroots activism. But there are many other causes for which communities organize: lack of sewage in poor neighborhoods, the need to support public schools, and affordable housing, to name just a few. Chambers is executive director of the Industrial Areas Foundation; founded by the noted organizer Saul Alinsky, the foundation is dedicated to supporting community organizing. A "radical" for Chambers is "a person who searches for meaning and affirms community." Thus, this is not an easy-to-consult handbook, but a book encouraging reflection about public life and ideals; the gap between the world "as it is" and "as it should be"; self-interest vs. self-sacrifice and other polarities; and how to create actions that not only receive momentary press attention but that are effective. Readers looking for quick tactical tips won't find them here, but readers looking for a solid foundation on which to base political action will find much to think about within these pages.
"Edward T. Chambers might know more about building democratic institutions than any man alive." -- San Francisco Chronicle, January 11, 2004
"This resource for organizers presents a distillation of the Industrial Areas Foundation philosophy and its approach to community organizing.." -- Reference & Research Book News, February 2004
Edward T. Chambers
Edward T. Chambers was a member of the Industrial Areas Foundation for fifty years and has served as its Executive Director since 1972. He taught a generation of organizers to value the local congregation both for its own sake and for its pivotal role in public life.