General Community Organizing
Atlas, John (2010) Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America's Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group. Nashville: Vanderbilt.
Comm-Org: The On-line Conference on Community Organizing and Development
(Syllabi, listserv (with archive), and assorted original writings on community
Chambers, E. T. (2004). Roots for radicals. New York: Continuum.
(Current vision of one of the key inheritors of Alinsky’s vision of organizing.)
Marshall Ganz's Online Organizing Course
(Obama's organizer tells how he thinks people should organize.)
Stall, S., & Stoecker, R. (1998). Community organizing or organizing community? Gender and the crafts of empowerment. Gender and Society, 12, 729–756.
(Nice discussion of relationships between gender and organizing strategies.)
Stoecker, R. (2001). A Primer on Community Organizing
(Nice brief overview of what community organizing is).
Schutz, A. (2007). What Is Community Organizing: Part I & Part II
Schutz, A. and Sandy, M. (2011, March) Collective Action for Social Change: An Introduction to Community Organizing. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Shepard, Ben. (2009). Queer Political Performance and Protest: Play, Pleasure, and Social Movement. Routledge.
(Thoughtful and informative overview of the creative approaches to social
action used by different segments of the gay rights movements. Also see
his website with full-text articles, including summaries/sections of this and
other forthcoming books.)
Swarts, H. (2008) Organizing Urban America: Secular and Faith-based Progressive Movements.
(A study of two congregational organizing groups and two ACORN
door-knocking groups. Nice overview of current models of these approaches
Warren, M. (2001). Dry bones rattling: Community building to revitalize American democracy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
(The best book-length discussion of the current vision of congregation-based
organizing groups workingin the Alinsky tradition that I have found.)
Community Organizing on Wikipedia
(Nice list of key organizations and organizers. I wrote a good chunk of it.)
Organizing Strategy (Nuts and Bolts)
Bobo, K., et. al. (2001). Organizing for social change: Midwest Academy: Manual for activists. Seven Locks.
Brown, M. J. (2006). Building powerful community organizations: A personal guide to creating groups that can solve problems and change the world. Long Haul Press.
The Change Agency
(Nice collection of tools and strategy documents)
Community Organizing Toolkit
(Includes a computer game focused on door-knocking, and a set of
readings by different well-known community organizing groups and
Dobson, C. (2006). The Citizen's Handbook: A Guide to Building Community. Vancouver Citizen's Committee.
Dobson, C. (2003). The troublemaker's teaparty: A manual for effective citizen action. New Society.
Mottola, M., & Geanacopoulos, P. (1986). Tenant Organizing Manual. Lenox Hill Neighborhood Association.
Sen, R. (2003). Stir it Up! Lessons in Community Organizing and Advocacy.
(Includes critiques of the Alinsky tradition of organizing that dominates
Staples, L. (2004). Roots to Power
(Nice overview of key concepts and strategies used in community
organizing. A bit dry.)
Trapp, S. (1986). Basics of organizing: You can't build a machine without nuts and bolts.
MICAH Massachusetts (a PICO organization) videos page (Michael Jacoby Brown who wrote Building Powerful Community Organizations, above is the focus of most of these).
Valley Interfaith in Texas (13 minute video)
Members of EPOCA (Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement) speak about the power of one-to-ones in furthering the goals of community organizing.
Jewish Funds for Justice, Congregation Based Community Organizing.
The key formulator of the most influential tradition.
Alinsky, S. (1989/1946). Reveille for radicals. New York: Vintage.
Horwitt, S. (1992). Let them call me rebel: Saul Alinsky: His life and legacy. New York: Vintage.
Reitzes, D.C., & Reitzes, D. C. (1987). The Alinsky Legacy. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
CIRCLE: Center for Information & Research on Civic Education and Learning
Free Child Project
Ginwright, S. A., Noguera, P., & Cammarota, J. (Eds.). (2006). Beyond resistance! Youth activism and community change. New York: Routledge.
Movement Strategy Center Resources
Program for Youth and Community (University of Michigan School of Social Work)
Series on Youth Organizing from the Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing
Weiss, M. Youth Rising.
What Kids Can Do Website
Sherwood, K., & Dressner, J. (2004). Youth organizing: A new generation of social activism. Public/Private Ventures.
Education and Organizing
Anyon, J. (2005). Radical possibilities: Public policy, urban education, and a new social movement. New York: Routledge.
Beam, J., & Irani, S. (2003). ACORN education reform organizing: Evolution of a model. New York: National Center for Schools and Communities, Fordham University.
Gold, E., & Simon, E. (2002). Strong neighborhoods, strong schools: The indicators project on education organizing. Chicago: Research for Action. See also their indicators framework.
Institute for Education and Social Policy Papers (NYU).
Lopez, E. (2003). Transforming schools through community organizing: A research review.
Mediratta, K, & Fruchter, N. (2001). Lessons from the field of school reform organizing.
National Center for Schools and Communities (Fordham)
Oakes, J., & Rogers, J. (2006). Learning Power. New York: Teachers College Press
Research for Action (Philadelphia)
Shirley, D. (1997). Community organizing for urban school reform. TX: University of Texas Press.
(A decade on and still the best book on education and organizing.)
Organizing and Urban History
Fisher, R. (1994). Let the people decide: Neighborhood organizing in America (updated edition). New York: Twayne.
Halpern, R. (1995). Rebuilding the inner city: A history of neighborhood initiatives to address poverty in the United States. New York: Columbia University Press.
Social Class and Organizing
Hart, S. (2001). Cultural dilemmas of progressive politics: Styles of engagement among grassroots activists. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Leondar-Wright, B. (2005). Class matters: Cross-class alliance building for middle-class activists. New York: New Society Publishers.
Lichterman, P. (1996). The search for political community: American activists reinventing commitment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Rose, F. (2000). Coalitions across the class divide; Lessons from the labor, peace, and environmental movements. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
(The best book discussing the tension between working-class and
professional middle-class ways of organizing.)
Stout, L. (1996). Bridging the class divide: And other lessons for grassroots organizing. Boston: Beacon Press.
Social Class and Progressivism
Fink, L. (1998). Progressive intellectuals and the dilemmas of democratic commitment. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
McGerr, M. (2003). A fierce discontent: The rise and fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920. New York: Free Press.
Stromquist, S. (2006). Reinventing “the people”: The Progressive Movement, the class problem, and the origins of modern liberalism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Curtis, S. (1991). A consuming faith: The social gospel and modern American culture. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Other Relevant (or interesting) Stuff
Bauman, Z. (2003). City of fears, city of hopes. London: Goldsmiths Colle
(Bauman may be our most profound thinker on globalism and cities.)
Gee, J., Hull, G., & Lankshear, C. (1996). New work order: Behind the language of the new capitalism. New York: Westview Press.
Law, E. H. F. (1993). The wolf shall dwell with the lamb. Atlanta, GA: Chalice Press.
(Good brief discussion of the effects of unequal power on dialogue.
Organizers I know aren't convinced his solution will work in organizing
Pan, D. T., & Mutchler, S. E. (2000). Calling the roll: Study circles for better schools. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.
Roberts, R. (adapted by Mengual, G.). (2003). What works: Study circles in the real world. Lexington, KY: Roberts & Kay, Inc., and Topsfield Foundation.
(The Study Circles model is a good example of a deliberative approach
to community engagement.)
Schorr, L. B. (1997). Common purpose: Strengthening families and neighborhoods to rebuild America. New York: Anchor Books.
(Schorr provides a detailed discussion of the logic behind the
organizational structure of current national organizing groups like the
Industrial Areas Foundation, although she is not discussing organizing in