John Atlas, author of Seeds of Change: The Story of Acorn, America’s Most Controversial Anti-Poverty Community Group. John is National Housing Institute/Shelterforce Magazine
What is ACORN? How did it become the most successful anti poverty community group in America? How did it provide excellent services? How was started? What’s its purpose? What did it accomplished? What is behind the accusations of voter fraud and that it promoted prostitution? How come it had Big Business and the Republican Party were bent on destroying the group?
While answering these questions, my book explores America in the 21 century: its politics, the changing nature of American journalism, and the decline of democracy and its effect on the persistence of poverty and the growing gap between the rich and poor. I visit the rise of the Tea Party and its influence on the Republican Party, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and Wall St. Journal, and rise of the right wing “gotcha” journalism of Andrew Breitbart and James O’Keefe.
Reviews and Praise
A must read…The reader gains an understanding not only of ACORN’s success in the fight for social justice, but also why its efforts to empower ordinary people are viewed with alarm and have come under attack by conservative and reactionary forces.
William Julius Wilson, author, Harvard University
…definitive book on one of the most effective grassroots organizations of low income Americans. John Atlas combines scholarship, political insight, and powerful narrative writing in this essential book.
Robert Kuttner, author of Obama’s Challenge, and co-founder, The American Prospect
There is more value on a single page of Seeds of Change than in a year’s worth of Rush Limbaugh screeds combined with a lifetime of Sarah Palin sneers at community organizers.
Todd Gitlin, professor, author of best selling The Sixties.
Atlas deploys his journalistic skills beautifully in this powerful portrait of people working to realize a vision of social prosperity.
Sudhir Venkatesh, author of Gang Leader for a Day
Excellent history of ACORN’s rise and fall.
Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect
Atlas has now written the definitive work on ACORN.
Samuel G. Freedman, Columbia Journalism School, author of Letters to a Young Journalist
Just how much was gained and lost in Acorn’s rise and fall is told in Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN…
Tom Robbins, Village Voice
…an exceptionally important book–a vivid, honest, and gripping look at the front lines, warts and controversies and all.
Harry C. Boyte, author, Backyard Revolution, founder and co-director, Center for Democracy and Citizenship
Atlas writes that ACORN ‘reflects the American tradition of helping the poor help themselves’
Ben Smith, Politico
Atlas masterfully tells the story…
Gregory Squires, Huffington Post