Great new book! This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century

This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century

by Mark Engler and Paul Engler

(Nation Books)

“Absorbing… Ambitious… Indispensable. A genuine gift to social movements everywhere.” —Naomi Klein

From protests around climate change and immigrant rights, to Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and #BlackLivesMatter, a new generation is reasserting strategic nonviolent action as a potent force in shaping public debate and forcing 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.

Drawing on discussions with today’s activists, and providing new insights into 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 regarded as a philosophy or moral code. Much less frequently is it studied as a method of political conflict, disruption, and escalation. This Is an Uprising corrects this error. 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 understand a critical phenomenon—and to harness its power to create lasting change.

“For all those who dare to dream that truly transformational, even revolutionary change might be possible here in America in our lifetimes (but who wonder what strategies or tactics could possibly achieve a monumental shift in consciousness), this book is for you. We have more power than we realize, and the compelling stories of nonviolent movements around the world told here have much to teach us about how we can use our power wisely.” —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

“This is a landmark book. [It] puts a name on . . . a powerful method for making real change fast. And real change fast is in fact what our world requires.” 
—Bill McKibben, author and co-founder of

“Mark and Paul Engler have compiled a true masterpiece on the history, logic, ethics, and power of nonviolent action. . . . Sure to inform and inspire for generations to come.” 
—Erica Chenoweth, co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

“This book is certain to become a seminal text. . . . [The authors] brilliantly illuminate the debates between advocates of mass mobilization, organization building, nonviolence, and disruption. Mark and Paul Engler have constructed a new intellectual platform to advance our understanding of these strategic dilemmas.” 
—Frances Fox Piven, author of Challenging Authority and Poor People’s Movements

“If you want to understand the social movements that are erupting all around us, you should be reading the Englers. Their writing is a revelation.” 
—Andy Bichlbaum, The Yes Men

“Simply outstanding. The success or failure of future campaigns for peace and justice could depend on how many people read this book. Yes, it’s that good.” 
—Stephen Zunes, University of San Francisco

“This is truly an important work. The moments and movements that drive societal change have remained elusive and misunderstood by most, whether pundits, activists, or everyday people consuming the news. In 
This is an Uprising, Mark and Paul Engler brilliantly unearth, explain, and contextualize the dynamics of breakout mobilizations–both dispelling the popular notion that transformational progress simply arises from historical circumstance, and pushing back on long-held dogma that hinders more successful engineering of people-driven campaigns. For all those who seek to play an effective role in creating social or political change in the modern era, the Englers’ book is a must read.” —James Rucker, cofounder of and Citizen Engagement Lab

“This book tells the stories of the mass movements that have made our world and continue to change it, and it tells them with excitement, insight, and hope like few have told them before.” 
—Maria Elena Durazo, international union vice president for civil rights, diversity, and immigration, UNITE HERE!

“This book is the 
Rules for Radicals for a new generation. Mark and Paul Engler have written a defining work on the science of popular movements… A must-read for everyone fighting the battle for justice in this world.” —Carlos Saavedra, lead trainer, Ayni Institute and former National Coordinator of United We Dream

“I love this book. The Englers have written fresh and exciting addition to the literature of social movements, a page-turner that is both hopeful and practical. A diversity of readers will recognize moments from their own experience in the stories, which powerfully show what is effective and what isn’t in making major change. We all need to read this now.” 
—George Lakey, author, activist, and founder of Training for Change

“This incredible book gives us the tools we need both to understand this watershed moment in history and to chart a course toward a transformed future. Movement wildfires are starting all around the world. This work connects them in a way that is both inspirational and informational. I believe that we will win, and this book told me how we have before.” 
—Umi Selah (formerly known as Phillip Agnew), mission director, the Dream Defenders

“This book could not have arrived at a more critical time. We are at a pivotal moment in history as climate justice, economic justice, racial justice, and immigrant justice movements are building people power with the ability to win. . . . I encourage movement builders to not only read this book, but to read it over and over. The relevance of its lessons in today’s world cannot be overstated.” 
—Paulina Gonzalez, organizer and executive director, California Reinvestment Coalition

You can get the book at your local bookstore, or order it online at:






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