The senior thesis of Hillary D. Rodham, Wellesley College class of 1969, “There Is Only the Fight...”, was a detailed analysis of Saul Alinsky, "A man of exceptional charm." She meet with Alinsky in Chicago, in Boston and when he accepted her invitation to visit Wellesley. She began her thesis with a feminist jab at the clichés of male authors: "Although I have no ‘loving wife’ to thank for keeping the children away while I wrote, I do have many friends and teachers who have contributed to the process of thesis-writing.” She thanks particularly “Mr. Alinsky for providing a topic, sharing his time and offering me a job.”
Rodham closed her thesis by emphasizing that she reserved a place for Alinsky in the pantheon of social action — seated next to Martin Luther King, the poet-humanist Walt Whitman, and Eugene Debs, the labor leader now best remembered as the five-time Socialist Party candidate for president.
Saul David Alinsky. He was a brutal seeker of power, schooling radicals with maxims such as "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it."
“Much of what Alinsky professes does not sound ‘radical.’ His are the words used in our schools and churches, by our parents and their friends, by our peers. The difference is that Alinsky really believes in them and recognizes the necessity of changing the present structures of our lives in order to realize them.” –Hillary Diane Rodham
In 1969, Alinsky was developing an institute in Chicago at his Industrial Areas Foundation, aimed at training organizers to galvanize a surprising target: the middle class. That was the job he offered to Hillary Rodham.
Given the rare honor of offering a student speech at her Wellesley commencement, she startled the faculty and parents — and thrilled many of her classmates — with a rambling rebuke to the day's main speaker, the black Republican Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, who had criticized “coercive protest.” Hillary Rodham, who spoke up for the “indispensable task of criticizing and constructive protest,” got her picture in Life magazine.