Saul Alinsky and the South Side of Chicago

You know I think my research is the most important work in the history of the world. Why? Exhibit A: Two degrees of separation to the U.S. presidential frontrunners.

In my current chapter on the University of Chicago’s campus planning, I investigate the U-C’s urban renewal projects in Hyde Park and Woodlawn. Basically, the university worked to remove blacks and working class whites through urban renewal projects, campus expansion and redevelopment. Alinsky worked with groups in both neighborhoods to organize and oppose the university. Hillary Clinton, a Chicago suburbanite, wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley on Alinsky and his general model of community organization. In fact, he even offered her a job. Barack Obama, you might recall, worked as a community organizer in the late 80s on the South Side of Chicago in Roseland and Altgeld Gardens. Guess who trained the people who trained Obama?. Saul Alinsky. (Obama still has a house in Kenwood, the neighborhood immediately north of Hyde Park).

EDIT: NPR segment from May.