But if you’re of a certain age or are a true Clinton-scandal connoisseur, you know that back in the 1990s, this little document was purported to contain all the clues needed to crack the case of Clinton’s well-concealed radicalism.
Why indeed did she even choose as her subject Saul Alinsky, the organizer of poor people’s campaigns who proudly proclaimed himself a radical?
The longest chapter looks at three case studies of Alinsky organizing projects and why they succeeded (in the first case) and failed (in the other two).
The first case was the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago, where Alinsky’s efforts were successful in bringing jobs and opportunity to the neighborhood in part because the people there were white ethnic Catholics who had real representation in City Hall, including in the form of Mayor Richard J. The two other cases, in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood and in Rochester, New York, didn’t work out so well; the reason, of course, was race.
The concrete one was: Can poor people be organized into a powerful political force?
The abstract one, which was in the water on college campuses in those days, could be put something like: What do these words like “radical” and “democracy” even mean, and can we challenge their currently understood meanings in ways that might distribute power more broadly to those who don’t have it?
You just have to get yourself up to Wellesley and do it in person.
And I should warn you that the cab from Logan ran me , without tip.
There’s a short, cheeky Acknowledgments paragraph (“Although I have no ‘loving wife’ to thank for keeping the children away while I wrote...”), and a specific date, rendered as “2 May, 1969,” three weeks after 300 Harvard students seized the administration building, which our coed would surely have been watching closely.
Basically, Clinton seems to have been interested in two questions, one concrete and one abstract.