Rules For Radicals by Saul Alinsky

This was a great book. I think it pairs naturally with Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People,  Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power, and his other book, The Art of Seduction.

Hillary Clinton famously wrote her dissertation about the work of Saul Alinsky, inventor of community organizing. Obama famously made this his career before politics. This book is Alinsky’s magnum opus. There are lots of great and timeless examples for organizers who want to be effective at making change happen. The book boils down to this simple list of rules;

  1. “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”
  2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
  3. “Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
  4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
  5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
  6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
  7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
  8. “Keep the pressure on.”
  9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
  10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
  11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside”
  12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
  13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”