This Is an Uprising

How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century

hardcover, 368 pages

Published Feb. 9, 2016 by Bold Type Books.

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4 stars (2 reviews)

"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 book], 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 book] 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 …

2 editions

Review of 'This Is an Uprising' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

This is a pretty interesting book that mostly tells a bunch of stories about what it calls "momentum-driven organizing" - basically large strategic nonviolent protests. This is laid out as separate from "structure-based" organizing, in the tradition of unions, community organizations, etc. The book argues that both of these traditions are necessary to create lasting and meaningful social change, and can complement or detract from each other depending on a variety of factors.

It lays out a few tenets for successful campaigns and goes through several case studies, including Otpor, ACT UP, the SCLC, and others.

I found this book informative and inspirational - it really helped focus my thinking about the limited amount of activism I have done, and will continue to shape my thinking going into the future.

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rated it

4 stars