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We Make Change: Community Organizers Talk About What They Do--and Why [Paperback]

Kristin Layng Szakos , Joe Szakos , Harry C. Boyte
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 29, 2007 082651555X 978-0826515551
Community organizers work at their jobs because they are passionate, because they believe that change is possible, and because they enjoy working with people. Although it's not an occupation that leads to great wealth, community organizers can make a living at it. They get salaries, pensions and health insurance. They raise families. They do well by doing good. This book explores the world of community organizing through the voices of real people working in the field, in small towns and city neighborhoods--women and men of different races and economic backgrounds, ranging in age from those in their twenties to those in their sixties. Fourteen in-depth profiles tell the life stories of a cross-section of the diverse people who choose the life of an organizer. Other chapters, focused on issues of organizing, are tapestries of experience woven from the 81 interviews the authors conducted.

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We Make Change: Community Organizers Talk About What They Do--and Why + Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals
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Editorial Reviews


New organizers will appreciate the candor that veterans share about the difficulty of spending a lifetime organizing for change; veterans will find relief in the hopefulness that fuels the young organizers profiled in the book.
--Social Policy

...very interesting, very entertaining read.
--Colleen Everett, COMM-ORG Papers

The most wonderful thing about We Make Change is that it's so much fun to read. It's like a personal tour of America where you get to meet the most engaging, optimistic kind of citizens -- people who love this country's possibilities and are working to fulfill them. It is also a deeply informative portrait of community organizing -- how it works, why it is so important for our future.
--William Greider, author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

Looking for a rewarding, meaningful career? In We Make Change, community organizers tell their own stories about one of the most adventurous careers available--grassroots organizing for social change. The pay is lousy, the hours are long, but, as these deeply engaging stories show, you won't find better company anywhere.
--Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America

About the Author

Kristin Layng Szakos is the former editor of The Appalachian Reader, a quarterly journal about citizen organizing in Appalachia.

Joe Szakos has been the Executive Director of the Virginia Organizing Project since 1994. He was the founding coordinator of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (1981-1993), as well as one of the founders of the Southern Empowerment Project and the Hungarian Environmental Partnership.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press (June 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082651555X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826515551
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book about what organizers truly do March 25, 2012
By sroach
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We Make a Change is a unique book about organizers from all around the United States. I can't remember how many interviews were conducted to produce the book but I must say, I am grateful to everyone who participated in the creation from start to finish. I found myself not wanting to put this book down because I knew that I wasn't reading a book about simply the fluff of organizing. The interviewees were very candid and straightforward about what goes into organizing and the hardships that come with the territory as well as the victories, even if they are sometimes small or few and far between.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars speaking for themselves July 5, 2008
Community organizers spend a lot of time getting people to speak for themselves about community issues. This book turns this around. The authors get community organizers to speak about the work they do. It is a valuable way of understanding the daily questions that community organizers face.
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