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on October 7, 2014
On second thought, I gave it a third star...

Rules for Radicals Defeated: A practical Guide for Defeating Obama/Alinsky Tactics
I bought this book with a sense of anticipation. It covered a subject in which I was highly interested and its tile offered some guidelines to defeat the multiple lies, the hypocrisy and the power-grabbing nature of the current [©bama] clique (Hillary, Kerry, etc.) So I eagerly set about the task of reading it.
In a sense, I was disappointed.

I can’t say the book was... bad. It was just disappointing.

The first section of the book covers what I will call “communist morality”. Now – before you get all bent out of shape – I know that Alinsky and ©bama and the rest don’t call themselves communists. That way they can deny being communists. But if it looks like a dog... has ears like a dog... has a tail like a dog... barks like a dog... chases cats like a dog... lives in a dog house...and eats dog food... then you can be pretty sure that it IS a dog... even if it claims to be a... mouse. So the book explains “liberal” aka “leftist” aka “progressive” (all words used in English to substitute for “communist”) morality.

And although the author goes into various tenets of “communist morality” (or whatever euphemism you prefer), it can be summarized in an old and somewhat overused phrase: “the end justifies the means”. He takes some time getting there, and makes some mistakes in the process (for example, using “crony capitalism” to refer to what should more correctly and appropriately be called “fascistic socialism”), but he gets there, although it takes him some time to do so. The message for this section isn’t bad. It just takes a l o o o o n g time to get it across... and – in my opinion – not in the most effective way.

The next section of the book presents Alinsky’s rules and briefly describes them. Not bad. It’s a good summary. Some might refer to it as a “Cliff note” of the book. This is a good section. If you haven’t read Alinsky’s book, this section will be a good overview. If you have, it’s a good summary. All in all, the author gets good grades here.
The next part of the book theoretically covers the title’s promise. I say “theoretically” because – again, in my opinion – it makes an attempt... but doesn’t quite get there. Let’s first look at what it does offer. In this section of the book, the author presents 20 “rules” to “defeat” the “Rules for Radicals”. I would probably change that description. I would call them “20 Rules to Defend Yourself, as a debater, against an opponent using Alinsky tactics in a debate”. For “debate” we might also substitute “public discourse” or “media wars” or the like. I think you get the meaning.

Look at the difference in the implication in the title (“...A practical Guide for Defeating Obama/Alynsky Tactics) vs. the implication in my suggested title (“...to Defend Yourself, as a debater, against an opponent using Alinsky tactics...). The difference in implied scope should be obvious. Let’s explain why...

Alinsky wrote what could be called an “Operational Principles” book. If we look at the levels of planning for levels of operations, you have Strategic (which is the broad brush, overall planning level) and you have tactics (which is the individual action or small group level of action). In between strategy and tactics, we have operational level planning. And what operational level planning seeks to do is to coordinate and synchronize the individual tactical actions so that success in each individual tactical action contributes to the overall strategic objective and to overall strategic success. So what Alinsky did was focus on this “in-between” operational level and elaborate principles for designing actions and coordinating actions in order to achieve maximum effectiveness and contribution to the overall strategic objective, which can be summarized as “bringing down the existing system”.
Now the author – as a “debater” of sorts (and presumably a good one) – sees Alinsky’s book from HIS perspective. And as such, he responds to the book in a way that makes sense to HIM. By the same token, this response will also make sense to anyone who expects to be exposed in the public marketplace of ideas and who may be the subject of Alinsky attacks. So, by all means, anyone in that position (or potentially in that position), feel free to avail yourselves of the 20 rules in the book. They are good rules and they should be followed by successful debaters who may be subject to “Alinsky-based attacks”. However, those rules should NOT be considered as “Alinsky Rules defeaters”... because they are not. The 20 rules operate at a completely different level than the Alinsky rules.

Think of the Alinsky rules as guidelines in designing operations against your ideological opponents, be they individual or institutional or governmental. Think of the 20 rules presented by the author as guidelines for “self-defense” if you are a debater that is attacked by an Alinsky practitioner who is doing so as part of an overall operation that goes beyond the scope of you as a target. So the author is actually presenting a set of rules that can be applied at the tactical level, as rules that – according to him – can be used to “defeat” an operational level initiative.

That is a mistake.

Now, I don’t “blame” the author for making the mistake of confusing the operational level with the tactical level. This is a very common mistake, especially for people who have not been exposed to strategic vs. operational vs. tactical planning. But it does bring up the fact that these 20 rules won’t really achieve what the book claims: the “defeat” of the Alinsky rules.

In any case, you don’t want to “defeat” the rules (another mistaken presumption by the author). What you want to defeat are the operations that are designed and implemented using these rules. And to discuss THAT, we would probably need another book – and we have neither the time or space to do this here and now. Suffice it to say that the 20 “rules” are a good set of rules to follow if you plan to publicly debate against people who have been Alinsky trained or Alinsky inspired. But that’s as far as they go. Don’t expect any more than that. I did, and that is why I was disappointed. But my disappointment takes nothing away from the value of the rules to a debater or someone who will be publicly (or privately) defending against Alinsky inspired tactics.

The final section of the book, titled “The Road Ahead” mentions “Other Alinsky Tactics”. Therein, he discusses (1) class warfare, (2) infiltration, (3) plants, (4) the encouragement of misconceptions and (5) speaking in generalities. Although one can nit-pick whether these can all be called “tactics”, the descriptions accompanying them are worth reading and contribute to an overall understanding of the Alinsky approach to conflict. They also demonstrate the “ends justify means” approach to political action that Alinsky espouses.

The author completes his book making some predictions regarding the 2012 elections that at this point are beyond the scope of my comments.

So that’s it... the extent of my comments. I gave the book two stars because I expected more from it... but perhaps what I expected was not the author’s to give. As far as it goes, it’s a good book... probably worthy of four stars. But I will leave that rating for someone who approaches the book with lower expectations.

Would I recommend the book? Yes... to someone who wants to get a grasp of what Alinsky is all about. I would also recommend it to someone who’s going to be “out in the field”, exposing him/herself as a potential target for the leftist packs that roam our streets. It offers a good set of self-defense rules that you should not be without. And finally, I recommend it to the legions of clueless fellow citizens out there who never imagined that the terms “leftist”, “liberal” and “progressive” mean nothing other than “communist”... even though these hypocrites will constantly deny it. But then, what can you expect from the lowest, worthless examples of the human species?
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on May 17, 2012
Rules for Radicals Defeated is a well written, on-point guide with good insights and backgrounds to the tactics, excellent defensive methods and sound moral advice. A definite recommended reading to all who want to thwart the unscrupulous methods of the Obama divisive machine.
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on December 4, 2015
This book was written during the 2012 election cycle and was intended as a guide for conservatives to keep President Obama from winning a second term. This is stated at the end of the first chapter.

On page one of this book is a disclaimer: "Anything contained in this book that is not documented is strictly the opinion of the author." I suspect this was added on the advice of an editor or a lawyer to cover for the mistruths printed inside.

There are a couple of things said about Saul Alinsky in the first chapter that are not quite right:

1. The book claims Alinksy was a Marxist. This is stated factually in the first chapter and later repeated as an opinion towards the end of the book, which I suppose the author believes is acceptable because of the disclaimer. The fact is Saul Alinsky never subscribed to any political party or ideology at all. None. He was not a Marxist or a Democrat or a Republican.

2. The book claims that Saul Alinsky's goal was to destroy capitalism and replace it with a Marxist utopia. This one is ridiculous. Saul Alinsky was a community organizer and his life's ambition was to help small communities of people who were oppressed gain some control (power) over their situations to make their lives better. He never had any ambitions at the national level at all.

3. In the first two chapters the author paints a picture of Alinsky and all liberals as morally bankrupt. This is a thesis throughout the book, which is important because he also connects Hillary Clinton and President Obama to Alinsky, therefore showing that they, too, have no moral code. It seem strange to me that he chooses as evidence a particular example from the Alinsky book. In that, Alinsky describes a time when a company produced evidence of Alinsky sleeping with a young woman and threatened to make it public if he didn't stop his protests. Alinsky wasn't married at the time and the woman was also a single adult, so he told them to go ahead. As a result of that, an insider in the company brought Alinsky proof of a senior executive in the company involved in a homosexual affair. Alinsky chose not to use the information, and explained in his book that it was too far. He would not stoop to that unless there was absolutely no other way, thus proving that Alynski had moral boundaries. Well, the author in this book ignores Alinsky's explanation and tries (unsuccessfully) to state that the incident does not in any way show Alinsky had any morals at all, because the author says he didn't. What I find strange about this is it disproves the entire second chapter of this book, yet the author chose to include it, anyway. Maybe he didn't expect anyone to have read the Alinsky book.

The third chapter of this book describes each of Alinsky's tactics and then attempts to provide examples of how President Obama used each of them, either during the 2008 presidential campaign, or during his first term as President. Well, Alinsky wrote his book "Rules for Radicals" as a guidebook for community organizers. Few of his tactics actually would work for a politician, although some do. Some of the examples presented here seem to fit an Alynski tactic, but the majority just don't quite work the way the author presents them. Also, if these examples given about President Obama do prove he used or uses Saul Alynski's tactics, then I would say all or most politicians do, as well, because similar examples can be given for many of them.

In the fourth chapter, the author provides his own "rules" to defeat Alynski tactics. I suppose he chose to call them rules because calling them tactics might confuse the readers. I believe the rules he provides would be very effective. In fact I see them in action all the time.

The final chapter is an essay of the author's predictions and opinions about the 2012 election and what he believes conservatives should do to win.
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on January 17, 2013
Sadly I found this book because Twitter was announcing the death of the author. In memoriam I decided to download it and read it. It is a very easy read and the examples of Obama's use of each rule after the author explains the rule is great! A must have if you are an activist seeking to battle in the public policy arena.
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on August 15, 2012
This is a very good read. It gives insight into how Saul Alinsky followers operate. "Being forewarned is being forearmed". This book will prepare you for the tactics of the radical left and show you how to respond to them.
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VINE VOICEon March 23, 2016
A solid book on the arctics used today by the left. The Author uses real examples from Obummer's political life to explain the use of Alinsky's 13 tactics. This he does very well. He concludes with 20 ways Alinsky's tactics can be countered. I gave it a 4 and not a 5 because to me the counter tactics fell short. Well worth reading though.
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on October 1, 2015
Mediocre, strictly mediocre. Not a very sophisticated rejoinder to Alinsky, but then again, Alinsky wasn't very sophisticated. Repeatedly warning against stooping to the level of Alinsky did nothing to alleviate the urge to desecrate Alinsky's grave with feces and urine. Read the Alinsky tripe at the library (sales of new books generate royalties) and devise your own approach.
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on December 19, 2012
This was a great book that is very well thought out and very well written. It had several examples of how Alinsky's rules are employed. If you are interested in modern politics in the United States, it gives a very clear understanding of many of the tactics used by the modern Democratic Party.

My understanding is that Mr. Hedgepeth recently passed away. My condolences and greatest respect for his family. He will be missed.
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on October 19, 2013
After the horrible debacle of conservatives in the spending/debt ceiling surrender to the Leftist pressures of President Obama and his surrogates in Congress and the news media. it is highy urgent that all coservatives/libertarians find out why their efforts went so badly.

The GOP leadership very mistakenly thought that they could negotiate with Obama. The problem is that Obama is a radically big government ideologue on a mission for an extreme power grab that would invest himself with very authoritarian powers with the help of the Democratic Left and the fawning media that are so attached to him.

Saul Alinskys Rules for Radicals is the plan that Obama uses for his power grab. Obama is extremely hungry for power and control to manipulate us. Obama thinks he should be sovereign and the American people his subjects.

By shrewdly using the 13 Rules for Radicals. Obama does not negotiate. He dictates what we Americans are supposed to and not supposed. The opposition is severely ridiculed into impotence. Obama wants no conversations the GOP and conservatives. He wants surrender.

Hedgpeth wanted to inform and warn Americans why Obama is so authoritarian and brutal in his methods of gathering and arrogating total power away from the people to him.

The American Repulic based on liberty and rule of law that we once cherished so much is steadily fading away. Americans are losing their freedoms and liberties.

It is extremely urgent that everyone and our leaders familiarize themselves with Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals. Obama was trained and further indoctinated with the philosophy of Alinsky. His ideas inform aand direct how we Americans are governed.

That is why our leaders immediately should learn about Alinsky and he makes President Obama tick.

Hedgpeths book along with Rules for Radicals must inform what GOP and conservatives ought to do. They should not listen to establishment figures such as Karl Rove and the harassing Left Wing media.

If conservatives do not heed the lessons of the government shutdown/slowdown/debt ceiling debacle. they will surrender and Obama will be a virtual dictator with few checks and balances. It will be bad long term for the economy as the reality of crushing debt due to the welfare state. its entitlements. and the failing Obamacare health program.

Massive governmental corruption will be the norm. Obamacare is wrecking the jobs and incomes of so many millions as people lose health insurance or face steep premium hikes that hit their pocketbooks.

Awareness of how Obama applies Rules for Radicals is crucial in defeating President Obamas power grab. Without this awareness our frredoms and rights are lost.
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on August 19, 2013
The author provides some interesting analysis and interesting suggestions for action, but it was not worth buying the book. Most of the observations made are already evident to someone who has read Alinsky's book. I would not recommend the book; I would suggest that someone read the original.
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