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Book: This is an uprising

How Nonviolent Revolt is Shaping the Twenty-First Century
3 min read
Last update: Aug 19, 2023

The book This is an Uprising (2016) by Mark Engler & Paul Engler is about the history and potential of mass movements, and how to build them. The book covers a wide range of topics, from the civil rights movement to the occupy movement. It is a guide for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world.

The book looks into the history of mass movements, and explores the factors that make them successful. It outlines the practicalities of organising a mass movement, and offers advice on how to get started. Finally, it discusses the future of mass movements, and explores the challenges they face.

One of the book's main messages is that anyone can make a difference in the world, if they are willing to get involved: There is a craft to uprising โ€“ and this craft can change the world.

From protests around climate change and immigrant rights, to Occupy, the Arab Spring, and #BlackLivesMatter, a new generation is unleashing strategic nonviolent action to shape public debate and force political change. When mass movements erupt onto our television screens, the media consistently portrays them as being spontaneous and unpredictable. Yet, in this book, Mark and Paul Engler look at the hidden art behind such outbursts of protest, examining core principles that have been used to spark and guide moments of transformative unrest.

With incisive insights from contemporary activists, as well as fresh revelations about the work of groundbreaking figures such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Gene Sharp, and Frances Fox Piven, the Englers show how people with few resources and little conventional influence are engineering the upheavals that are reshaping contemporary politics.

Nonviolence is usually seen simply as a philosophy or moral code. This Is an Uprising shows how it can instead be deployed as a method of political conflict, disruption, and escalation. It argues that if we are always taken by surprise by dramatic outbreaks of revolt, we pass up the chance to understand a critical phenomenonโ€”and to harness its power to create lasting change.

Book details

  • Publisher: Nation Books

  • ISBN Number: 978-1568587332

  • Publish Date: 2016

  • Number of Pages: 368

Make sure to check out our full list of books about activism.

  • The Rebel yell: A history of the American populist movement by William J. Bryan (1994)

  • The Peopleโ€™s History of the United States by Howard Zinn (2005)

  • The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope by Amy Goodman (2012)

  • Strike! by Jeremy Brecher (1997)

  • The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot by Naomi Wolf (2007)

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