Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change
South End Press
, 2003 - History
- 332 pages
'What is remarkable about Cynthia Kaufman's new book, Ideas for Action, is how it steps back from our day-to-day struggles to gain historical and theoretical perspective, and then moves forward again to use these perspectives for the solution of specific, immediate problems.'--Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United StatesFrom the Enron scandal to global warming, from the war on terrorism to the war on drugs, a growing number of people are unhappy with the status quo. Yet those genuinely interested in reading about the issues find that few contemporary theorists are seriously committed to accessible, clear writing. Furthermore, the mainstream media rarely represents social movements, and the theories associated with them, without distortion or bias.Exploring a wide range of political traditions--including Marxism, anarchism, anti-imperialism, poststructualism, feminism, critical race theory, and environmentalism--Cynthia Kaufman acknowledges the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of political movements and the ideologies inspired or generated through them.Kaufman incorporates elements of her own activist experiences, and offers a coherent analysis without pretending to offer "the final word" on complex issues. Instead, she encourages inquiry and further investigation, offering readers the information to orient a critical understanding of the social world and a glimpse of the excitement and rewards of serious intellectual engagement with political ideas.Ideas for Action examines the work of diverse thinkers such as Adam Smith, Paulo Freire, Stuart Hall, and Grace Lee Boggs. In chapters that cover economics, imperialism, racism, feminism, the environment, authority, nationalism, and the media, Kaufman's insights break the chains of cynicism and lay a foundation for more effective organizing.