Community organizer Saul Alinsky re-emerges as a lightning rod for left and right

09/21/10 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday) | Listen to this entire show:

Good afternoon, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up- one of the nation’s most famous community organizers Saul Alinsky has new currency. He’s been mentioned as an inspiration to President Obama, vilified by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and some of his ideas are emulated by Tea Party activists. We’ll talk about the life of Saul Alinsky with Nicholas Von Hoffman, author of a new Alinsky biography.

Both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have expressed admiration for a well-known figure in Chicago history- a community organizer named Saul Alinsky. Alinsky focused on improving living conditions for low- and moderate-income people in the 1950’s and 60’s. His book RULES FOR RADICALS inspired a generation of progressive activists. He’s become prominent in recent years because he’s been attacked in the conservative press and on talk radio for being an inspiration to one-time community organizer Barack Obama.

Alinsky’s books have been dissected by conservatives for insight into the President’s supposed hidden agenda. At the same time some of Alinsky’s tactics have been adopted by Tea Party activists. In a moment we’ll meet Nicholas Von Hoffman, who's written a new book about Alinsky. But first let’s listen to what conservative talk show host Glenn Beck said last year about Alinsky.

comments powered by Disqus