Cold Anger is an important book about the empowerment of working-class communities through church-based social activism. Such activism is certainly not new, but the conscious merger of community organizing tactics with religious beliefs may be. The organizing approach comes from Aul Alinsky and his Industrial Areas Foundations (IAF). . . . The book is structured around the polifical life of Ernesto Cortes Jr., the lead IAF organizer who has earned recognition as one of the most powerful individuals in Texas (and who has been featured on Bill Moyers' World of Ideas”). . . . Cortes fashioned a hard-ball Alinsky approach onto the natural organizing ground of church-based comunities. The experiment began in San Antonio . . . and was successful in the transformation of San Antonio politics.
Such dramatic success . . . led to similar efforts in Houston, Fort Worth, El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and New York, to mention only a few sites. Expansion beyond San Antonio meant organizing among Protestant churches, among African American and white, and among middle-class communities. In short, these organizing efforts have transcended the particularistic limits of religion, ethnicity, and class while maintaining a church base and sense of spiritual mission. . . .
Rogers's clearly written book will be of great value to the scholar, student, and layperson interested in urban politics, ethnic relations, social movements, or church activism.
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" I am indebted - as no doubt you shall be upon reading this robust story of faith and power politics - to Mary Beth Rogers for a wonderful reminder that the American Revolution is not over. It lives on in the cold anger and warm heart of Ernesto Cortes." - Bill Moyers
"Cold Anger is a story about a new kind of intervention in politics by working poor people who incorporate their religious values into a struggle for power and visibility. It is about women and men who promote public and private hope, political and personal responsibility, community and individual transformation. Even joy. As such, it is a rare story in American politics these days." - PrologueFrom Library Journal:
Considering the importance which Latinos will have on American culture and politics in the 21st century, very little of a nonscholarly nature has been written about them. Rogers fills the gap somewhat with this journalistic biography of Ernesto Cortes, a grass-roots leader who teaches Latinos how to use the political system. A man who combines religion and secular ideology, Cortes is doing for the Latino communities nationally what Jesse Jackson did in Chicago a decade earlier. The book effectively captures the flavor of the movement in small, rural locales and in major urban centers, conveying Cortes's ideology and energy, as well as the issues close to the Latino heart. A welcome look at minority politics in the 1990s. Recommended for all libraries.
- Roderic A. Camp, Central Coll., Pella, Ia.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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