Additional Book Information
Series: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Political ActionA Practical Guide to Movement Politics
by Michael Walzer, with an introduction by Jon Wiener, and a new preface by the author
Walzer’s how-to book for activists, reissued, feels newly relevant.
—The New York Times Book Review
The idea of republishing this book came from some high school students in Los Angeles. They were part of a social justice group at their school, and most of the projects they were contemplating involved organizing of some kind. To help them think about that, their faculty adviser, Mickey Morgan...photocopied parts of Political Action and handed it out. "This is really good!" they told him. "This is what we need." What the kids said next became the impetus for this new edition: "Why is there nothing like this?"
—from the new introduction by Jon Wiener
[W]hen much political commentary is either apocalyptic or cynical...it is a pleasure to come upon a book which reflects a sense of idealism along with a sense of strategy.
—from the original foreword by Senator Eugene McCarthy
The reissue of a political action guidebook that has withstood the evolution of American government. Originally published in 1971 and preceding a prolific oeuvre of treatises and foreign policy critiques, Walzer's first political call to action resonates as much in today's tense, precarious climate as it did when the author originally crafted it...Throughout this brief, lucid guide, he illustrates the sequential steps necessary to become active in citizen politics...Walzer's potent manual validates protest movements of the past while underscoring the relevance of resistance initiatives in the contemporary political climate….an inspired political motivating tool and an erudite work of political food for thought. An authoritative master plan for forming effective, influential citizen activism.
Michael Walzer is a writer of rare elegance, intellectual range and moral seriousness.
—J. Peter Euben, The New York Times
Michael Walzer’s originality lies in his ability to extend the work of his precursors into new fields.
—John Murray Cuddihy, The New York Times
Michael Walzer [is] the unanointed dean of the American left.
—The Wall Street Journal
[A] stable and prudent approach to political action.
—Virginia Quarterly Review
[One] of the truly significant American political thinkers of our time.
—William A. Gaston, Political Theory