In 1969, Hillary Rodham wrote a 92-page senior thesis for Wellesley College about community organizer Saul Alinsky entitled «There Is Thesis search the Fight .
While the work by Rodham as a college student was the subject of much speculation in articles and biographies of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 1990s, access to the thesis was limited by the college, at the request of the Clinton White House, during her time as first lady. Community Action Programs in those areas. The thesis was sympathetic to Alinsky’s critiques of government antipoverty programs, but criticized Alinsky’s methods as largely ineffective, all the while describing Alinsky’s personality as appealing. The thesis sought to fit Alinsky into a line of American social activists, including Eugene V.
A 2007 New York Times review of Rodham’s thesis summarized her views as follows: «Ms. Alinsky’s central critique of government antipoverty programs — that they tended to be too top-down and removed from the wishes of individuals. But the student leader split with Mr. He vowed to ‘rub raw the sores of discontent’ and compel action through agitation. Alinsky’s conclusion that the ‘ventilation’ of hostilities is healthy in certain situations is valid, but across-the-board ‘social catharsis’ cannot be prescribed,» she wrote.
Catharsis has a way of perpetuating itself so that it becomes an end in itself. She continued: «Interestingly, this society seems to be in a transition period, caught between conflict and consensus. In the acknowledgements and end notes of the thesis, Rodham thanked Alinsky for two interviews and a job offer. She declined the latter, saying that «after spending a year trying to make sense out of inconsistency, I need three years of legal rigor.
The work was unnoticed until Hillary Rodham Clinton entered the White House as first lady. Clinton researchers and political opponents sought it out, contending it contained evidence that Rodham had held strong far-left or socialist views. In early 1993, the White House requested that Wellesley not release the thesis to anyone. Wellesley complied, instituting a new rule that closed access to the thesis of any sitting U. First lady, a rule that in practice applied only to Rodham.
Syndicated columnists Jack Anderson and Jan Moller tried to gain access in 1999, but they were rebuffed by both Wellesley and the White House. Clinton mentioned the thesis only briefly, saying she had agreed with some of Alinsky’s ideas but had not agreed with his belief that it was impossible to «change the system» from inside. Years after the Clintons left the White House, the thesis still held its allure. For example, in 2005, columnist Peggy Noonan speculated that it was «the Rosetta Stone» of Hillary biographies defining «how to change the American political culture». The thesis was made available after the Clintons left the White House thesis search 2001 by the Wellesley College archives.
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It first received public exposure in 2005 when msnbc. The suppression of the thesis from 1993 to 2001 at the request of the Clinton White House was documented in March 2007 by reporter Dedman, who read the thesis at the Wellesley library and interviewed Rodham’s thesis adviser. Dedman found that the thesis did not disclose much of Rodham’s own views. The First Time Hillary Clinton Was President».
Carl Bernstein, A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Bill Dedman, «How the Clintons wrapped up Hillary’s thesis: ‘A stupid political decision,’ says her former Wellesley poli-sci professor», msnbc. In Turmoil of ’68, Clinton Found a New Voice». Peter Slevin, «For Clinton and Obama, a Common Ideological Touchstone», The Washington Post, March 25, 2007. Donnie Radcliffe, Hillary Rodham Clinton : A First Lady for Our Time. David Brock, The Seduction of Hillary Rodham.
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