How Nonviolent Struggle Works

How Nonviolent Struggle Works
Paperback: $9.95, eBook: $4.99
Tag: English
Length: 148 pp
Publisher: Albert Einstein Institution
Publication Year: 2013
ISBN: 9781880813287
How Nonviolent Struggle Works is a serious introduction to nonviolent struggle, its operation, and how it can be used against organized opponents with the capacity to impose harsh repression. This book offers the principle contents of Dr. Sharp’s The Politics of Nonviolent Action in a concise, accessible, and translatable format. It will be of interest to students, activists, and anyone who wants to learn about the technique.
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Gene Sharp

     This small book offers the principal contents of the 902 pages of the original 1973 The Politics of Nonviolent Action[1] to anyone who wants to learn the substance of how nonviolent struggle works. That is, how the nonviolent technique can operate in conflicts, even when strong opponents are willing and able to impose harsh repression.

     There are almost no historical examples presented in this abridged text. They can easily be found elsewhere.[2]

     This distilled text is amazingly faithful to the original lengthy complex analysis published in 1973. The full The Politics of Nonviolent Action did not appear ready-made that year. That book was the result of years of efforts to understand, describe, and present the technique of nonviolent action.

     That work was done as several distinct sections of the whole. These sections were: understanding of political power, methods of action, and dynamics of change. When put together these components reveal the essence of this technique. Not perfectly, for the final text left room for corrections and improvements. Not completely, for the knowledge of the operation of this technique was and is in a continual process of growth and development.

     The present text is an extreme abridgement of the published The Politics of Nonviolent Action.  The original condensation was prepared by Jaime González Bernal in Spanish in Mexico and published as La Lucha Política Noviolenta.

I have made limited recent changes and additions to both the English and the Spanish texts, and have changed the title to How Nonviolent Struggle Works.

This book will have diverse readers: the general public, faculty and students, protesters, social change activists, police and military officers, developers of political policies, religious thinkers, journalists, people of diverse political views, and many more.

[1] Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Boston: Porter Sargent, 1973.  Available at

[2] See, for example, The Politics of Nonviolent Action and Gene Sharp, Waging Nonviolent Struggle, 20th Century Practice, 21st Century Potential. Boston: Porter Sargent, 2005.

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