Previously unpublished correspondence between Hillary Clinton and the late left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky reveal new details about her relationship with the controversial Chicago activist and shed light on her early ideological development.
Clinton met with Alinsky several times in
1968 while writing a Wellesley college thesis about his theory of community organizing.
Clinton’s relationship with Alinsky, and her support for his philosophy, continued for several years after she entered Yale law school in 1969, two letters obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.
The letters obtained by the Free Beacon are part of the archives for the Industrial Areas Foundation, a training center for community organizers founded by Alinsky, which are housed at the University of Texas at Austin.
The letters also suggest that Alinsky, who died in 1972, had a deeper influence on Clinton’s early political views than previously known.
A 23-year-old Hillary Clinton was living in Berkeley, California, in the summer of 1971. She was interning at the left-wing law firm Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, known for its radical politics and a client roster that included Black Panthers and other militants.
On July 8, 1971, Clinton reached out to Alinsky, then 62, in a letter sent via airmail, paid for with stamps featuring Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and marked “Personal.”
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