Books on IAF Organizing:
After America’s Midlife Crisis. Michael Gecan, 2009. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Michael Gecan brings his deep knowledge of Chicago’s blighted neighborhoods, bloated bureaucracy, and venal political machine to bear on a thoroughgoing and nationwide critique.
Going Public: An Organizer’s Guide to Citizen Action. Michael Gecan, 2004. Anchor. This book by Northeast IAF Regional Director Michael Gecan describes the IAF’s organizing philosophy and the tools utilized in the IAF’s considerable successes in New York and the surrounding area.
Gathering Power: The Future of Progressive Politics in America.Paul Osterman, 2003. Beacon Press. MIT professor of management Paul Osterman argues in this book that the IAF’s strategies of institution-based organizing provide the outline for revitalizing progressive politics in America.
Roots for Radicals: Organizing for Power, Action, and Justice,Edward T. Chambers, 2003. Continuum. IAF National Director Edward Chambers outlines the IAF’s philosophy of relational organizing in this sequel to Alinsky’s writings.
Going Public: An Inside Story of Disrupting Politics as Usual. Michael Gecan, 2002. Beacon Press. An organizer for more than twenty years, Gecan illustrates the principles of organizing through a collection of stories from his experiences in Chicago and New York City. Very good introductory book.
On History of IAF:
Reveille for Radicals, Saul Alinsky, 1946. Vintage. The founder of the Industrial Areas Foundation, Saul Alinsky, wrote this book on his experiences organizing through the early 1940s.
Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky, 1971. Vintage. Near the end of his life, Alinsky wrote this classic guide outlining his rules for building power.
Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky, His Life and Legacy, Sanford H. Horwitt, 1992. Vintage. A comprehensive biography of Saul Alinsky.
On the Southwest IAF:
Better Together: Restoring the American Community, Robert Putnam, Lewis Feldstein, and Donald Cohen, 2004. In chapter 1, “Valley Interfaith: The Most Dangerous Thing We Do Is Talk to Our Neighbors,” the authors highlight the South Texas IAF organization as a model of civic engagement and an antidote to the decline of civic life in the United States.
Dry Bones Rattling: Community Building to Revitalize American Democracy, Mark Warren, 2001. An in-depth description of the Southwest IAF in Texas in which Professor Warren argues that a robust democracy requires connecting politics to community institutions.
Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy,William Greider, 1992. In chapter 10, “Democratic Promise,” Greider describes the work of the IAF in Texas, offering the organization as a model for mediating the gulf between American politicians and the citizens they represent.
Cold Anger: A Story of Faith and Power in Politics, Mary Beth Rogers, 1990. Profile of Ernesto Cortes, the Southwest Director of the IAF. Features many stories of IAF organizing throughout Texas.