[COMM-ORG] new book: Contesting Community

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Wed Aug 11 09:24:07 CDT 2010

  [ed: congratulations to James, Bob, and Eric on the new book.]

From: James DeFilippis <jdefilip at rutgers.edu>

Hi all,

I am very excited to announce that Bob Fisher and Eric Shragge have just 
had our new book "Contesting Community: The Limits and Potential of 
Local Organizing" published by Rutgers University Press. If you go to my 
webpage at Rutgers you can print out a flyer that will give you a 20% 
discount on the book 
(http://policy.rutgers.edu/faculty/defilippis/DiscountFlyer.pdf). Here 
are some blurbs and some information about the book:

“This book could not be more timely. DeFilippis, Fisher and Shragge give 
us a seriously analytical yet readable discussion of the possibilities 
and limits of locally-based organizing. A major contribution to the 
ongoing debates about community and social movement organizing.”
—Frances Fox Piven, author of Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People 
Change America

“This book offers the most incisive, compelling treatment of community 
organizing that I have seen. As a study of the strategic challenges of 
community-based action, it is not only authoritative but also highly 
original in its combination of sure-handed historical grasp, careful 
intellectual critique, and practical engagement with important community 
efforts taking place on the ground.”
—William Sites, School of Social Service Administration, University of 

What do community organizations and organizers do, and what should they 
do? For the past thirty years politicians, academics, advocates, and 
activists have heralded community as a site and strategy for social 
change. In contrast, Contesting Community paints a more critical picture 
of community work which, according to the authors—in both theory and 
practice—has amounted to less than the sum of its parts. Their 
comparative study of efforts in the United States, the United Kingdom, 
and Canada describes and analyzes the limits and potential of this work.

Covering dozens of groups, including ACORN, Brooklyn’s Fifth Avenue 
Committee, and the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal, and discussing 
alternative models, this book is at once historical and contemporary, 
global and local. Contesting Community addresses one of the vital issues 
of our day—the role and meaning of community in people’s lives and in 
the larger political economy.

JAMES DeFILIPPIS is an associate professor in the Bloustein School of 
Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He is the author of 
Unmaking Goliath, named Best Book in Urban Politics by the American 
Political Science Association.

ROBERT FISHER is a professor at the University of Connecticut School of 
Social Work. He is the author of several books on community organizing.

ERIC SHRAGGE teaches in the School of Community and Public Affairs, 
Concordia University, Montreal and is the author and editor of several 
works on community organizing and development.

James DeFilippis
Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
Rutgers University
33 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
732-932-3822 ext: 734

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