Author(s): Mark Engler
"Absorbing...Ambitious...Indispensable. A genuine gift to social movements everywhere." -Naomi Klein 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 truly understand how social transformation happens.
"Engler & Engler carefully arrange the complex pieces of the puzzle that comprise a nonviolent movement...The authors touch on a range of issues that are certain to be of value to those most in need of such a timely work of scholarship - activists throughout the globe. In their impressive analysis and practically step-by-step account of what it takes for movements to instill change, the authors highlight the critical strategic undertones of otherwise seemingly spontaneous uprisings."--Pauline Moore, Journal of Peace Research
Mark Engler, a writer based in Philadelphia, is an editorial board member at Dissent, a contributing editor at Yes! Magazine, and author of How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle Over the Global Economy (Nation Books). Paul Engler is founding director of the Center for the Working Poor, based in Los Angeles. He worked for more than a decade as an organizer in the immigrant rights, global justice, and labor movements.