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Strategic nonviolent action has reasserted itself as a potent force in shaping public debate and forcing political change. Whether it is an explosive surge of protest calling for racial justice in the United States, a demand for democratic reform in Hong Kong or Mexico, a wave of uprisings against dictatorship in the Middle East, or a tent city on Wall Street that spreads throughout the country, when mass movements erupt onto our television screens, the media portrays them as being as spontaneous and unpredictable. In This is an Uprising, political analysts Mark and Paul Engler uncover the organization and well-planned strategies behind such outbursts of protest, examining core principles that have been used to spark and guide moments of transformative unrest. This is an Uprising traces the evolution of civil resistance, providing new insights into the contributions of early experimenters such as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., groundbreaking theorists such as Gene Sharp and Frances Fox Piven, and contemporary practitioners who have toppled repressive regimes in countries such as South Africa, Serbia, and Egypt. Drawing from discussions with activists now working to defend human rights, challenge corporate corruption, and combat climate change, the Englers show how people with few resources and little influence in conventional politics can nevertheless engineer momentous upheavals. Although it continues to prove its importance in political life, the strategic use of nonviolent action is poorly understood. Nonviolence is usually studied as a philosophy or moral code, rather than as a method of political conflict, disruption, and escalation. This is an Uprising corrects this oversight. It argues that if we are always taken by surprise by dramatic outbreaks of revolt, and if we decline to incorporate them into our view of how societies progress, then we pass up the chance to fully grasp a critical phenomenon—and to harness its power to create lasting change.
The Power of Nonviolence, written by Richard Bartlett Gregg in 1934 and revised in 1944 and 1959, is the most important and influential theory of principled or integral nonviolence published in the twentieth century. Drawing on Gandhi's ideas and practice, Gregg explains in detail how the organized power of nonviolence (power-with) exercised against violent opponents can bring about small and large transformative social change and provide an effective substitute for war. This edition includes a major introduction by political theorist, James Tully, situating the text in its contexts from 1934 to 1959, and showing its great relevance today. The text is the definitive 1959 edition with a foreword by Martin Luther King, Jr. It includes forewords from earlier editions, the chapter on class struggle and nonviolent resistance from 1934, a crucial excerpt from a 1929 preliminary study, a biography and bibliography of Gregg, and a bibliography of recent work on nonviolence.
Civil disobedience, the refusal to obey certain laws, is a method of protest famously articulated by philosopher and writer Henry David Thoreau in his 1849 essay “Civil Disobedience.” Thoreau believed that protest became a moral obligation when laws collided with conscience. Since then, civil disobedience has been employed as a form of rebellion around the world. But is there a place for civil disobedience in democratic societies? When is civil disobedience justifiable? Is violence ever called for? Furthermore, how effective is civil disobedience?
A lifetime of activist experience informs this playbook for building and conducting nonviolent direct action campaigns Beginning as a trainer in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, George Lakey has been on the front lines of social change for decades. Now, in this timely and down-to-earth guide, he passes the torch to a new generation of activists hitting the streets. He looks to successful campaigns across the world to help us see what has worked and what hasn’t: from choosing the right target, to designing a creative campaign; from avoiding burnout within your group, to building a movement of movements to achieve real progressive victories. Drawing on the experiences of a diverse set of ambitious change-makers, How We Win shows us the way to justice, peace, and a sustainable economy. This is what democracy looks like.

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