Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xvi

At the very time that democracy appears to have triumphed on the world stage, it faces a profound crisis at home in America. Many Americans have simply lost faith in the ability of traditional forms of democratic politics to address the most...

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Introduction: Dry Bones Rattling

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pp. 3-14

Scholars and activists used to looking to the east or west coasts for bellwether progressive initiatives may be surprised to find in Texas a group of deeply committed people of faith at the forefront of efforts to revitalize democracy in America. Many Americans think of...

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1. Community Building and Political Renewal

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pp. 15-39

Tins chapter argues that the key to reinvigorating democracy in theUnited States can be found in efforts to engage people in politics throughtheir participation in the stable institutions of community life. It drawsfrom recent scholarly work on social capital to help us understand whya strong community foundation is necessary for a vibrant political life....

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2. A Theology of Organizing: From Alinsky to the Modern IAF

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pp. 40-71

This chapter argues that the key to reinvigorating democracy in the United States can be found in efforts to engage people in politics through their participation in the stable institutions of community...

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3. Beyond Local Organizing: Statewide Power and a Regional Network

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pp. 72-97

The IAF had long felt the need for greater political power than could be amassed by one local organization. Many local problems required greater resources and more complex programs that could only...

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4. Bridging Communities across Racial Lines

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pp. 98-123

Americans committed to revitalizing our democracy face perhaps no greater challenge than overcoming the racial and class divisions that fragment the polity and undermine the nation's commitment to combating poverty and racial oppression. Community building within...

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5. Deepening Multiracial Collaboration

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pp. 124-161

Efforts to forge multiracial cooperation for the pursuit of common interests in America have often collapsed in the face of continued patterns of racial discrimination and oppression.1 Finding common...

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6. Effective Power: Campaigning for Community-Based Policy Initiatives

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pp. 162-190

The challenge of generating effective power for community-based efforts has proved difficult for American community builders and political activists to meet. Issue advocacy groups, on the one hand, excel at insider lobbying centered around...

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7. Congregational Bases for Political Action

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pp. 191-210

The ultimate foundation for the lAF's political power rests in its member institutions most of which are religious. Congregations pay the dues that supply the independent financial base for local IAF organizations, to pay to hire organizers for example. They supply the...

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8. Leadership Development: Participation and Authority in Consensual Democracies

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pp. 211-238

Americans have become suspicious of authority, a term which now has negative connotations for most citizens.2 Instead, an ultrademocratic ideal pervades, where each member of an organization is supposed to...

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9. Conclusion: Restoring Faith in Politics

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pp. 239-264

Six thousand supporters packed San Antonio's municipal auditorium on November 7, 1999, to observe COPS' twenty-fifth anniversary. Billed also as an occasion to celebrate "25 Years of Organizing in the Southwest," IAF organizations from across the region sent large...

Notes

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pp. 265-308

Index

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pp. 309-324