Radical, A Portrait of Saul Alinsky by Nicholas von Hoffman who worked with and for Alinsky as a community organizer in Chicago. Alinsky was a self-proclaimed radical because he believed that liberals were too willing to compromise or give up. This is how Alinsky saw himself:
“For him a radical was not a devotee of an ideology. For him a radical was someone who was mentally tough, who could keep his fears to himself, who did not panic, who did not dither, who did not use the finer points of morality to evade action, who did not come down with the blues or misgivings or a sudden need to split hairs and think up reasons for delay.”
Like de Tocqueville, Alinsky believed that Americans could and should form associations to solve problems. Alinsky believed that government should provide solutions only as a last resort. In that, he was a true conservative. Alinsky never met Barack Obama because he died in 1972 when Barack was only 11 years old. Alinsky did meet Barry Goldwater at least once in 1964 when Goldwater was preparing to run for president. The two men discussed civil rights and the pending civil rights legislation. Alinsky supported the law reluctantly while Goldwater was opposed.