The Edge of Politics: Stories from the Civil Rights Movement, the War on Poverty and the Challenges of School Reform

Front cover: The Edge of Politics

From BEA Press (Oct 2011):

By Stan Salett, President of the Foundation for the Future of Youth. Available at Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC and The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA. 

You can order your copy from

View Stan's presentation and Q&A session about the book at Boston University in October 2011.


This fascinating memoir tracks Stan Salett s personal and professional journey from his modest beginnings in Roxbury, Massachusetts through his involvement in some of the most challenging public policy issues and social change upheavals of the last sixty years in this country. From the vantage point of a civil rights activist, education change agent, and key player in the development of the War on Poverty, the author records from first-hand experience details of the behind the scenes struggles and politics that led to changes that have enabled more low-income people to realize the American dream. One of Mr. Salett s greatest accomplishments was the creation of the successful federal Upward Bound Program, which today still helps thousands of disadvantaged youth go to college every year. --Arnold L. Mitchem, Ph.D., President and CEO, Council for Educational Opportunity, Washington, D.C.

Stan Salett's memoir goes down like a good meal on a good night. It has the lightness of a salad and the strength of the entrée. He gives one a look into Boston s Mayor Curley as well as the early and important moments of the civil rights movement. The book lets the reader see that a marathon runner is needed to run through the harder political battles of a nation. He does not dip or slide or step back in the hard moments of life. Stan steps forward nicely, evenly and assuredly time after time. It is a superb read and gives truth that steady is better than stop and go. --Jack Healey, Founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Action Center

Stan Salett's evocative memoir transports us from his youth in the streets of Boston to the corridors of power in the Washington of LBJ and JFK and beyond. We have an intimate portrait of the development of a life that added value, as Salett participated and contributed to some of the most fascinating and important social innovations of his time. His candid observations and engaging personal recollections of Sargent Shriver, the Office of Economic Opportunity and of the work of Robert F. Kennedy put the reader in the room as history is made. A swift and elegant read for those who seek to appreciate how one man helped to craft and contribute to a legacy of humane and caring social enterprise. Most people are fortunate to be part of one innovation in a lifetime. Stan Salett has been blessed to play a seminal role in several. --Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President Emeritus and University Professor of Public Service, George Washington University


About the Author

Stan Salett has more than four decades of experience designing and leading breakthrough national initiatives in social policy and education. He has served on the staff of all three Kennedy brothers: President Kennedy s Committee on Youth Employment, Attorney General Robert Kennedy s President s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency and Senator Edward Kennedy s Presidential campaign in 1980. In the early 1960s Mr. Salett was an organizer for CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality, and helped in the organization of the March on Washington. He was one of the original planners of the National Head Start program and initiated the National Upward Bound program. He co-founded the National Committee for Citizens in Education, which became a force in promoting parent and citizen involvement in our schools. More recently he served on President Clinton s Transition team and is now the developer of special search engines to meet a variety of human needs such the elimination of human trafficking, the improvement of school performance and the scarcity of our global water supply. Currently, Mr. Salett is President of the Foundation for the Future of Youth, a division of the Eigen Arnett Educational and Cultural Foundation; an IRS registered 501(c)3 not for profit.