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A handbook for anyone who wants to effectively (and peacefully) improve your neighborhood, make a difference in your community, or change the world   Blueprint for Revolution will teach you how to • make oppression backfire by playing your opponents’ strongest card against them • identify the “almighty pillars of power” in order to shift the balance of control • dream big, b A handbook for anyone who wants to effectively (and peacefully) improve your neighborhood, make a difference in your community, or change the world   Blueprint for Revolution will teach you how to • make oppression backfire by playing your opponents’ strongest card against them • identify the “almighty pillars of power” in order to shift the balance of control • dream big, but start small: learn how to pick battles you can win • listen to what people actually care about in order to incorporate their needs into your revolutionary vision • master the art of compromise to bring together even the most disparate groups • recognize your allies and view your enemies as potential partners • use humor to make yourself heard, defuse potentially violent situations, and “laugh your way to victory”    Praise for Blueprint for Revolution   “The title is no exaggeration. Otpor’s methods . . . have been adopted by democracy movements around the world. The Egyptian opposition used them to topple Hosni Mubarak. In Lebanon, the Serbs helped the Cedar Revolution extricate the country from Syrian control. In Maldives, their methods were the key to overthrowing a dictator who had held power for thirty years. In many other countries, people have used what Canvas teaches to accomplish other political goals, such as fighting corruption or protecting the environment.”—The New York Times “A clear, well-constructed, and easily applicable set of principles for any David facing any Goliath (sans slingshot, of course) . . . By the end of Blueprint, the idea that a punch is no match for a punch line feels like anything but a joke.”—The Boston Globe “An entertaining primer on the theory and practice of peaceful protest.”—The Guardian “With this wonderful book, Srdja Popovic is inspiring ordinary people facing injustice and oppression to use this tool kit to challenge their oppressors and create something much better. When I was growing up, we dreamed that young people could bring down those who misused their power and create a more just and democratic society. For Srdja Popovic, living in Belgrade in 1998, this same dream was potentially a much more dangerous idea. But with an extraordinarily courageous group of students that formed Otpor!, Srdja used imagination, invention, cunning, and lots of humor to create a movement that not only succeeded in toppling the brutal dictator Slobodan Milošević but has become a blueprint for nonviolent revolution around the world. Srdja rules!”—Peter Gabriel   “Blueprint for Revolution is not only a spirited guide to changing the world but a breakthrough in the annals of advice for those who seek justice and democracy. It asks (and not heavy-handedly): As long as you want to change the world, why not do it joyfully? It’s not just funny. It’s seriously funny. No joke.”—Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties and Occupy Nation


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A handbook for anyone who wants to effectively (and peacefully) improve your neighborhood, make a difference in your community, or change the world   Blueprint for Revolution will teach you how to • make oppression backfire by playing your opponents’ strongest card against them • identify the “almighty pillars of power” in order to shift the balance of control • dream big, b A handbook for anyone who wants to effectively (and peacefully) improve your neighborhood, make a difference in your community, or change the world   Blueprint for Revolution will teach you how to • make oppression backfire by playing your opponents’ strongest card against them • identify the “almighty pillars of power” in order to shift the balance of control • dream big, but start small: learn how to pick battles you can win • listen to what people actually care about in order to incorporate their needs into your revolutionary vision • master the art of compromise to bring together even the most disparate groups • recognize your allies and view your enemies as potential partners • use humor to make yourself heard, defuse potentially violent situations, and “laugh your way to victory”    Praise for Blueprint for Revolution   “The title is no exaggeration. Otpor’s methods . . . have been adopted by democracy movements around the world. The Egyptian opposition used them to topple Hosni Mubarak. In Lebanon, the Serbs helped the Cedar Revolution extricate the country from Syrian control. In Maldives, their methods were the key to overthrowing a dictator who had held power for thirty years. In many other countries, people have used what Canvas teaches to accomplish other political goals, such as fighting corruption or protecting the environment.”—The New York Times “A clear, well-constructed, and easily applicable set of principles for any David facing any Goliath (sans slingshot, of course) . . . By the end of Blueprint, the idea that a punch is no match for a punch line feels like anything but a joke.”—The Boston Globe “An entertaining primer on the theory and practice of peaceful protest.”—The Guardian “With this wonderful book, Srdja Popovic is inspiring ordinary people facing injustice and oppression to use this tool kit to challenge their oppressors and create something much better. When I was growing up, we dreamed that young people could bring down those who misused their power and create a more just and democratic society. For Srdja Popovic, living in Belgrade in 1998, this same dream was potentially a much more dangerous idea. But with an extraordinarily courageous group of students that formed Otpor!, Srdja used imagination, invention, cunning, and lots of humor to create a movement that not only succeeded in toppling the brutal dictator Slobodan Milošević but has become a blueprint for nonviolent revolution around the world. Srdja rules!”—Peter Gabriel   “Blueprint for Revolution is not only a spirited guide to changing the world but a breakthrough in the annals of advice for those who seek justice and democracy. It asks (and not heavy-handedly): As long as you want to change the world, why not do it joyfully? It’s not just funny. It’s seriously funny. No joke.”—Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties and Occupy Nation

30 review for Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    I want to start a revolution after reading this book. Now I just need to find the right cause...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    I won this from a goodreads giveaway. I was a little put off by the overly long and cheesy title, but I'm glad I read it. The author was part of a Serbian protest movement that used non-violent resistance to oust Slobodan Milosevic from power. It was good to learn about movements in parts of the world that are ignored by the American media. There were lots of anecdotes about well known leaders like Ghandi and Mandela and others that I hadn't heard of previously that had similar success in their I won this from a goodreads giveaway. I was a little put off by the overly long and cheesy title, but I'm glad I read it. The author was part of a Serbian protest movement that used non-violent resistance to oust Slobodan Milosevic from power. It was good to learn about movements in parts of the world that are ignored by the American media. There were lots of anecdotes about well known leaders like Ghandi and Mandela and others that I hadn't heard of previously that had similar success in their own countries. The stories were fun but were just a backdrop for an outline on how to overcome oppression without resorting to violence. There are examples of what works, like in Serbia, and what doesn't, like Occupy Wall Street. What I enjoyed most was that it was a fun book. Most political books are all gloom and doom, but this was was very positive and funny. I like laughtivism.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Clara Biesel

    If you want a fantastic book about bringing about nonviolent change, this is it. It's not just useful and excellent, it's really funny.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    No one with even a touch of humanity could gainsay the courage, creativity or tenacity of the author and those allied with him in opposing Milosevic's murderous regime in Serbia. Milosevic was accused of 66 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo between 1991 and 1999 but died before he could be tried in the Hague. His colleague Radovan Karadžić was convicted of genocide over the 1995 massacre of over 8,000 men and boys i No one with even a touch of humanity could gainsay the courage, creativity or tenacity of the author and those allied with him in opposing Milosevic's murderous regime in Serbia. Milosevic was accused of 66 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo between 1991 and 1999 but died before he could be tried in the Hague. His colleague Radovan Karadžić was convicted of genocide over the 1995 massacre of over 8,000 men and boys in Srebrenica, a place name that has become shorthand for unspeakable atrocities inflicted in wartime against civilians. Few would oppose such bloodthirsty opponents and give up the relatively safe anonymity of doing nothing. I doubt if I would. Unfortunately the author shortchanges himself and his cohorts when he describes their resistance as a successful re-branding of both the government and the organized resistance to it. To one extent this makes sense--Popovic may not want to frighten other potential advocates of non-violent struggle against monolithic rulers--but he makes it seem too clean, too foreordained and inevitable. There is a lot of room for this kind of approach--but his laconic account wastes much of the edge that should be inevitable here.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Hilliard

    3.75 stars: Whether you are starting a revolution or just trying to create a new marketing campaign, many of us have come up against the complaint "that won't work here." Popovic is here to convince you otherwise. This is a surprisingly practical book with real-world advice on how you can change the world (or at least your community). Non-violence works because a small rag tag group of revolutionaries will never defeat military might but if you can attack them with humor, you've got them. And if 3.75 stars: Whether you are starting a revolution or just trying to create a new marketing campaign, many of us have come up against the complaint "that won't work here." Popovic is here to convince you otherwise. This is a surprisingly practical book with real-world advice on how you can change the world (or at least your community). Non-violence works because a small rag tag group of revolutionaries will never defeat military might but if you can attack them with humor, you've got them. And if you're dubious and thinking that won't work here, Popovic has the data to back this up. In this dark time period, this gives me hope. Now, let's get out there and #resist with wild absurdity.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim Stallwood

    I heard the author interviewed one Monday morning on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week program. Surge Popovic sounded interesting and his book's title, Blueprint for Revolution, made me go out and buy it. The book has a co-author: 'and Matthew Miller.' One gets the sense that this is Miller's book after having some conversations with Popovic. The style of writing is conversational, anecdotal, and not too challenging. There's not much theory or history but lots of chat about his work, realisations, le I heard the author interviewed one Monday morning on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week program. Surge Popovic sounded interesting and his book's title, Blueprint for Revolution, made me go out and buy it. The book has a co-author: 'and Matthew Miller.' One gets the sense that this is Miller's book after having some conversations with Popovic. The style of writing is conversational, anecdotal, and not too challenging. There's not much theory or history but lots of chat about his work, realisations, lessons learnt, and whimsy comparisons. The books subtitle is 'how to use rice pudding, lego men, and other non-violent techniques to galvanize communities, over-throw dictators, or simply change the world.' You get the picture. There's a sentimentalism to it all that's a bit too cloying to me. Don't get me wrong. Popovic is a, er, revolutionary. He's been involved with more than his fair share of, er, revolutions. Plus he teaches the stuff. But I'm unsure as to how much anyone can learn from this book. Which is a shame. It's worth reading, though. There are some important insights and nuggets to savour. Take this: 'Believing that change can happen to you, dreaming big and starting small, having a vision of tomorrow, practising laughtivism, and making oppression backfire: these are the foundations of every successful nonviolent movement. But like every building, the foundations aren't enough. Unless a solid structure is erected slowly and deliberately, the whole thing is likely to collapse. And the first thing you need for a house to stand united is for everyone to work in unity.' (p. 150) Of course, I read this book while thinking about the animal rights movement. And here's one quote that made me pause: 'Movements are living things, and unless unity is planned for and worked at, it's never going to materialise on its own. And that's why it's important to make your movement relatable to the widest number of people at all times.' (p. 167) So, will this book make you a revolutionary? Probably not. But it will make you think about whether you could be a better revolutionary. Yes. And what's so wrong with that?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Entertaining but also practical book about social movements and what makes them succeed or fail. p. 23 anybody can start a movement: Lech Walesa was an electrician, Harvey Milk shopkeeper, Jane Jacobs vs. Robert Moses p.45 People have a lot on their minds, take things one day at a time. "it's unrealistic to expect people to care about more than what they already care about, and any attempt to make them do so is bound to fail. Benjamin Franklin is said to have remarked, 'All mankind is divided into Entertaining but also practical book about social movements and what makes them succeed or fail. p. 23 anybody can start a movement: Lech Walesa was an electrician, Harvey Milk shopkeeper, Jane Jacobs vs. Robert Moses p.45 People have a lot on their minds, take things one day at a time. "it's unrealistic to expect people to care about more than what they already care about, and any attempt to make them do so is bound to fail. Benjamin Franklin is said to have remarked, 'All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are unmovable, those that are movable, and those that move." Pull pillars that hold up the powerful towards you to topple. (e.g. markets they rely on, religious pillars of society, etc.) p. 162-163 Students for a Democratic Society in 1960s = cautionary example. Anti-war movement, decided not to have an organizational structure and fell apart. "Without organizational unity, everything will fall apart. That's one of the few guarantees that I can give you in this book." Yemen ousted dictator but now is paralyzed by bickering. Like airplanes - need someone at the controls or you'll crash, who knows who'll pick up pieces. p.184 Plan your way to victory with "inverse sequence planning". "The captain who does not know where he wants to go will never find a ship to take him there." p. 187 "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results." - Winston Churchill p. 188 "nonviolence is so much more powerful than violence because it will allow anybody, no matter where they live or how frail they are, to engage the enemy." Occupy confused a tactic (occupying a public space) with strategy - having reasonable demands and achieving them. ch. 9 - the Demons of Violence. Nelson Mandela first turned to violence before prison term. p. 204 win people to your side - you have to be likeable. e.g. Manal al-Sharif - driving videos for women CANVAS [email protected]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Raegan Ralls

    -Disclaimer: I won this book for free through goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.- My first thoughts of this book was: I thought the title was stupid along with the cover. After thoughts of this book: I still think the title and cover are stupid. This book was boring, offensive, and not funny at all. The author tried to be funny a couple of times and failed miserably. There is a big difference between funny and stupid. The author writes this book like he is talking to you and on -Disclaimer: I won this book for free through goodreads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.- My first thoughts of this book was: I thought the title was stupid along with the cover. After thoughts of this book: I still think the title and cover are stupid. This book was boring, offensive, and not funny at all. The author tried to be funny a couple of times and failed miserably. There is a big difference between funny and stupid. The author writes this book like he is talking to you and only you. It's like: Here take this guide book and go take over the world. Start a revolution. I did not finish this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    learned about the Otpor! movement in the Originals book. More is found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otpor! learned about the Otpor! movement in the Originals book. More is found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otpor!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Antoinette Perez

    Pretty fabulous read for those of us who commit to doing our part for social change through nonviolent means. A couple of anecdotes feel too easily explained, but for the most part, the author does a great job of pulling back the curtain on worldwide movements for change, and challenging us to think differently about how we can get there. I also really appreciate his emphasis on taking the long view, and not walking away before the real goals are achieved. I'll probably re-read this one in the f Pretty fabulous read for those of us who commit to doing our part for social change through nonviolent means. A couple of anecdotes feel too easily explained, but for the most part, the author does a great job of pulling back the curtain on worldwide movements for change, and challenging us to think differently about how we can get there. I also really appreciate his emphasis on taking the long view, and not walking away before the real goals are achieved. I'll probably re-read this one in the future -- it's a pretty solid foundations book, and humorous to boot.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    What a great little book! For activists at any level this book offers humor, a little philosophy, a lot of common sense. It is the kind of book I will re-read and (gasp!) underline. I hope to use the wisdom here.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Majo

    A must-read if you aspire, are interested-in or about-to challenge the status quo and bring some possitive changes in your community. The book is full of useful insights, interesting anecdotes, and, what I valued a lot, lessons learned. Plus, I really enjoyed the "Serbian sense of humor" :P .

  13. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Wiswall

    I’m ready now

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sofía de Mucha

    Love it

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sajjad Heydari

    Overall, the book was an interesting read, however you can clearly see a lack of understanding in the authors examples, it's as if the author was in a completely different world, especially in his examples in regard to Iran and Middle East. But still, an interesting read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Yura Gavrilovich

    Great book. Succinct, sometimes funny. Tells a bunch of stories of nonviolent movements all around the world, and describes the main constituent parts of such movements.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Rodighiero

    "Life is much more meaningful -and also much more fun- when you take charge and act (...) There is no more fulfilling or happier way to live than to take a stand for somethjing you think is right. Even the smallest creatures have the power to change the world." This amazing book is full of real life examples of how to change the world using nonviolent techniques, plus some LOTR parallels that serve to illustrate the message from another angle. Everyone that wants to promote change should read it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Raj Mudhar

    Such wisdom! Ignore at your peril. Life lessons. Such wisdom! Ignore at your peril. Life lessons. This book has broad applications beyond its original scope. Worth the read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I received this book through the First Reads giveaway.Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World is a book in which Srdja Popovic describes the many tips and principles of organizing nonviolent movements that he has gained through experience working with the Otpor! group in removing their former dictator of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, from office. He describes some of the m I received this book through the First Reads giveaway.Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World is a book in which Srdja Popovic describes the many tips and principles of organizing nonviolent movements that he has gained through experience working with the Otpor! group in removing their former dictator of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, from office. He describes some of the many groups of people that he has trained and the movements that they later went on to organize and uses them as examples to explain what makes nonviolent movements successful and what can make them fail. Srdja Popovic stresses that nonviolent movements have a better chance of ending in victory than violent movements.I thoroughly enjoyed this book and often laughed throughout it because of the author's wonderful sense of humor. One of his tips was that laughter was a great advantage and to incorporate it into your movements, and I feel that he knew quite well that it would also apply to writing books that capture the eyes of readers. Although this was a nonfiction book about a topic that I don't often think about, it kept me attention from straying with its fresh ideas and the funny ways that he presented his examples to the reader. I found that I was agreeing with many of the points he made, especially with the solid explanations that he provided to support everything that he said. I could feel a sense of reality throughout the book since the author went into detail on the many possible things that could go wrong in a nonviolent revolution just as much as he described the successful outcomes that could occur. I was receiving the entire picture of what organizing nonviolent revolutions would be like and had my eyes opened to possibility that revolutions didn't have to be something as big as removing a dictator. Ordinary people have successfully managed to create changes in their society without involving any violence. This book is crammed with intelligence and words of wisdom that will keep readers glued to the page with its humor down to earth advice. It's a definite 5/5.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    *I received this via a Firstreads Giveaway* To be honest, I wasn't sure about starting this book, and I thought I was in for a lot of the author boasting about his own story and success. I was completely wrong. I read the first half of this book in one setting. I believe another reader said that they had never had so much fun being educated, and I agree. The author educates through really good storytelling, and it is hard to find a book that pairs history and good, fun storytelling so well. I, li *I received this via a Firstreads Giveaway* To be honest, I wasn't sure about starting this book, and I thought I was in for a lot of the author boasting about his own story and success. I was completely wrong. I read the first half of this book in one setting. I believe another reader said that they had never had so much fun being educated, and I agree. The author educates through really good storytelling, and it is hard to find a book that pairs history and good, fun storytelling so well. I, like other, wish this book were required reading for high school students. Not only is this book a fun read (I was surprised to find myself laughing out loud at various times), but he does a really great job at clearly outlining the important proponents to successful nonviolent action. He does not speak in theoretical terms, but gives clear examples to every success and failure outlines. I think that at the very least, it is a great starting point and foundation for those new to the world of activism. My only negative critique was that while at first, the author's use of popular culture seemed a great tool to engaging the reader, it became a bit much for me. It seems that because of many of the pop culture references, the audience is clearly aimed to be a younger population. At times, the references weren't needed at all and only served to distract me from the point. My bigger worry is that while these references contribute to the relevance of the book today, I wonder about its relevance in 5 or 10 years time, which is too bad because the main points and central message of the book is timeless. Overall, I am so happy to have won and read this book. I will be sure to pass it around to my circles and hope that many hands find it!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Allison Hoefener

    I won this book in a goodreads giveaway and was excited to read it, although I may have been more excited just to have won a book. The focus of this book is more narrow than I initially thought; it is quite literally about nonviolent movements against oppressive regimes. The book is filled with anecdotes about both successful and unsuccessful revolutions. Popovic exposes us to some well-known, but also many lesser-known movements and why they were successful/unsuccessful. At times it was lighthe I won this book in a goodreads giveaway and was excited to read it, although I may have been more excited just to have won a book. The focus of this book is more narrow than I initially thought; it is quite literally about nonviolent movements against oppressive regimes. The book is filled with anecdotes about both successful and unsuccessful revolutions. Popovic exposes us to some well-known, but also many lesser-known movements and why they were successful/unsuccessful. At times it was lighthearted and fun. At other times I felt bogged down trying to remember names of movements and leaders. Ultimately, this book provides a great resource for people interested in making a change in their communities. The final section captures the essence of the book well: "And so, as this book comes to a close, let me spoil the ending a little bit: there's a right way and a wrong way to read it. The wrong way is to skim it like some adventure story, enjoying the tales of inspiring and brave people in remote corners of the world and imagining being some heroic leader yourself instead of just a regular person with no great cause to champion. The right way to read it is to take the principles I've written about as perennial advice for life, and seek to apply them in all life's circumstances." This is not a book to be read purely for enjoyment; it is a book to inspire action.

  22. 5 out of 5

    James

    Revolution in the internet age, a fine successor to older works like Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. I like this book's attitude, it covers the big revolutions but also covers small town activists. Every movement and country is different as they point out, so this book can't be a cookbook, but it can serve as a thought provoking guide. Also there are some statistics which show that non-violent movements are more likely to succeed and to have a permanent effect. Bas Revolution in the internet age, a fine successor to older works like Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. I like this book's attitude, it covers the big revolutions but also covers small town activists. Every movement and country is different as they point out, so this book can't be a cookbook, but it can serve as a thought provoking guide. Also there are some statistics which show that non-violent movements are more likely to succeed and to have a permanent effect. Based on my readings, this does not surprise me. Very optimistic, a good read if you are depressed about our current state of affairs. Also for those who have not been exposed to left wing book radicals, "Life of Brian" is a documentary ;) For an easy, fast read on James Lawson, see March: Book One. For a fun SF novel with this theme, written by the radical Mack Reynolds see Trample an Empire Down, fairly impressive, it was written in the 70's.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Barnett

    This was an ARC given in return for an honest review I have to admit, I was sceptical about this book at first, perhaps the title having something to do with that, but it makes so much sense once you read it! I feel I also shouldn't admit that I was won over by the cover of the book because it looked cool but hey it's true! To be honest, I didn't entirely know what to expect but I have been pleasantly surprised. I found Blueprint for Revolution to be extremely informative and it delivered a very p This was an ARC given in return for an honest review I have to admit, I was sceptical about this book at first, perhaps the title having something to do with that, but it makes so much sense once you read it! I feel I also shouldn't admit that I was won over by the cover of the book because it looked cool but hey it's true! To be honest, I didn't entirely know what to expect but I have been pleasantly surprised. I found Blueprint for Revolution to be extremely informative and it delivered a very positive message! It shows that there are many forms of non-violent resistance and that even the smallest person out there can make a huge difference. The writing is very engaging, passionate, at times humourous, and it all links together with ease. The entire book is littered with examples of the triumphs of non-violence to achieve goals, and there was a good use of interesting photographs as well. Overall, it made for a very inspiring read. I discovered that it also rather oddly ties in with my current criminology module at university of 'crime and disorder'. Teamed with further academic research I am sure I could use this information in upcoming essays and exams – an excellent practical use for me in that regard!

  24. 4 out of 5

    JDK1962

    A very good, well-written primer on nonviolent social protest, with a nice balance of points supported by practical examples. (I read this in response to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, as the US enters its "hey, let's elect the opinionated drunk at the end of the bar! How much worse could it be?" phase of democracy, where the majority of people who voted cannot fathom why the minority chose to put a narcissistic grifter into power. What do you do when you see cabinet positions bei A very good, well-written primer on nonviolent social protest, with a nice balance of points supported by practical examples. (I read this in response to the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, as the US enters its "hey, let's elect the opinionated drunk at the end of the bar! How much worse could it be?" phase of democracy, where the majority of people who voted cannot fathom why the minority chose to put a narcissistic grifter into power. What do you do when you see cabinet positions being handed not to serious people with deep knowledge of policy but to donors and sycophants? Sure, let's hand out the Secretary of Education position like it's the Ambassadorship to Fiji, what could possibly go wrong?) I'm not sure what to do yet, under a government set to begin a severe right turn come January. I'm torn between hiding in my hole (I'm a well-off privileged white male with a perfectly nice Hobbit hole), giving up and leaving the Electoral College majority to the mess they've initiated, or gearing up for fight after fight to do my part in tempering the effects of what promises to be four years of epic stupidity. If it's the latter choice, this book should help.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Lewonczyk

    I imagine most people with a solid background in activism will find this book to be a bit simplistic, but as an introduction to the strategies and tactics needed to create a successful movement, I found a lot to admire here. Popovic is one of the leaders of the movement that brought down Milosevic in Serbia, and he's generous with stories from his own organization and other groups he's advised in showing what does and doesn't work when you're fighting for political change. That "doesn't work" par I imagine most people with a solid background in activism will find this book to be a bit simplistic, but as an introduction to the strategies and tactics needed to create a successful movement, I found a lot to admire here. Popovic is one of the leaders of the movement that brought down Milosevic in Serbia, and he's generous with stories from his own organization and other groups he's advised in showing what does and doesn't work when you're fighting for political change. That "doesn't work" part is important - though his tone throughout is buoyant and positive, he's very direct about the fact that most movements are destined to fail, even despite certain very public successes (e.g., Arab Spring). As a read, the book is light and entertaining, but its implications are darker, and, though he emphasizes repeatedly that it's far from being all fun and games, I don't think he gives the full impression of what a slog organizing can be. That said, this is an ideal gateway to the idea of action, and a book that I hope many more people in the U.S. read as we finally begin to realize that, yes, it can happen here too.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Navarro

    Brilliant It's just a brilliant read. This can empower basically anyone who wants to make positive changes in his/her community but has been thinking their particular context is paralyzing them.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Wow! What a powerful book! This is truly a blueprint for non-violent revolution anywhere. What some Serbian teens discovered through trial & error turned out to be an already established plan of action used all over the world, to varying degrees of success. But they made it work. And those young idealistic kids of OTPOR! took down the evil dictator, Milosevic, without the loss of a single life! I even checked out the movie, Bringing Down a Dictator, that chronicles their struggle and I was moved Wow! What a powerful book! This is truly a blueprint for non-violent revolution anywhere. What some Serbian teens discovered through trial & error turned out to be an already established plan of action used all over the world, to varying degrees of success. But they made it work. And those young idealistic kids of OTPOR! took down the evil dictator, Milosevic, without the loss of a single life! I even checked out the movie, Bringing Down a Dictator, that chronicles their struggle and I was moved to tears. The stories and lessons in this book will stay with, and inspire, me the rest of my life. Thank you, Srdja, for sharing your knowledge and passion with the rest of the world.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Harris Schwartzreich

    An inspiring book and an easy read, brimming with stories and practical advice, on how to fight for social change against dangerous enemies. The author, a Serbian activist who helped overthrow the genocidal Slobodan Milosevic, has no radical or fringe ideology other than an earnest belief in nonviolence, and in true democracies that value free press and civil institutions. Srdja tries hard to sound down to earth, and peppers his advice with American pop culture references and Lord of the Rings a An inspiring book and an easy read, brimming with stories and practical advice, on how to fight for social change against dangerous enemies. The author, a Serbian activist who helped overthrow the genocidal Slobodan Milosevic, has no radical or fringe ideology other than an earnest belief in nonviolence, and in true democracies that value free press and civil institutions. Srdja tries hard to sound down to earth, and peppers his advice with American pop culture references and Lord of the Rings analogies. But his voice is genuine. It's hard not to come away loving him just a little, and wondering what he and his rebellion-consultants at his NGO are up to next.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I discovered this neat book in a 'little free library' at my local shopping hub in Brisbane, Australia which was placed there in the lead up to the annual Brisbane Writers Festival. As someone who deeply cares about challenging the way people act and think in the community, reading this book was a definite step in the right direction. Anyone who wants to learn the basics of creating and maintaining non-violent movements, regardless of the scale, should read this book. I discovered this neat book in a 'little free library' at my local shopping hub in Brisbane, Australia which was placed there in the lead up to the annual Brisbane Writers Festival. As someone who deeply cares about challenging the way people act and think in the community, reading this book was a definite step in the right direction. Anyone who wants to learn the basics of creating and maintaining non-violent movements, regardless of the scale, should read this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thara

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I am so grateful. It's an amazing call to action written with humor, compassion, and grace. I may not be fighting evil dictators any time soon but I have some new strategies when squaring off against my HR department. With the techniques outlined in the book, it is possible to find the courage and strategies to counter overwhelming conflicts. I am amazed by what Popovic has accomplished.

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