While writing a book about ACORN, I got to know Wade Rathke, spending dozens of hours hanging out with him, interviewing him, e-mailing back and forth, interviewing friends and enemies, and literally following Rathke as he worked. In an age of stylish cynicism, whatever else you might say about Wade, he believes in the basic goodness of people, our capacity for empathy, kindness, and caring. These traits are expressed not only through individual acts with his family and friends; but also with strangers, especially those who inhabit the squalid urban communities across the globe–the people ignored by the public officials and exploited by the rich and powerful.