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The People Shall Rule
ACORN, Community Organizing, and the Struggle for Economic Justice

Editor(s): Robert Fisher

With the election of a community organizer as president of the United States, the time is right to evaluate the current state of community organizing and the effectiveness of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Since 2002, ACORN has been dramatically expanding and raising its national profile; it has also been weathering controversy over its voter registration campaigns and an internal financial scandal.

The twelve chapters in this volume present the perspectives of insiders like founder Wade Rathke and leading outside practitioners and academics. The result is a thorough detailing of ACORN's founding and its changing strategies, including vivid accounts and analyses of its campaigns on the living wage, voter turnout, predatory lending, redlining, school reform, and community redevelopment, as well as a critical perspective on ACORN's place in the community organizing landscape.

Biography of Editor(s)

Robert Fisher, Professor of Community Organizing, School of Social Work, University of Connecticut, is author, co-author, or editor of five other books.


  • "No matter what the future of ACORN entails, the future of community practice theory is always strengthened by Fisher's probing eye, and this book is no exception."
    Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
  • "This is an excellent volume that should be required reading for classes on community organizing and policy practice."
    Social Science Review
  • "The essays, as a whole, are thoughtful and contribute much to an understanding of the value of modern community organizing for low-income and minority families and ACORN's leading role in this work. . . . Recommended."