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Srdja Popovic is a Serbian biologist, political activist and executive director of the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS, www.canvasopedia.org). He was a leader of the student movement Otpor that helped topple Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic. As the director of CANVAS, Popovic has consulted with revolutionary activists from Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, the Georgian Republic, the Maldives, and many others. The 2002 documentary Bringing Down A Dictator, narrated by Martin Sheen and featuring Popovic, aired on PBS, and since then Popovic's star has consistently been on the rise. He has been featured by The Atlantic and The Economist, was selected by Foreign Policy as one of its top 10 choices to receive the Nobel Peace prize had it not be awarded to the EU, was selected by Wired as one of 50 people who will change the world, and by the World Economic Forum as one of their Young Global Leaders for 2013. You can watch his talk, How To Topple A Dictator on TED.com.
In Blueprint for Revolution, Srdja Popovic outlines his philosophy for implementing peaceful world change and provides a model for activists everywhere through stories of his own experience toppling dictatorships (peacefully) and of smaller examples of social change (like Occupy Wall Street or fighting for gay rights). Through examples of using laughter and music (e.g., Pussy Riot) to disarm the opposition and gather supporters, to staging a protest of Lego Men in Siberia (when flesh-and-blood people would have been shot), to a boycott of cottage cheese in Israel to challenge price inflation while organising around rice pudding to overthrow the dictator of the Maldives, Popovic uses true and sometimes outrageously clever examples of the ways in which non-violent resistance has achieved its means. Popovic argues in favour of non-violent resistance not for ideological reasons (as persuasive as those are) but because non-violence actually works better than violence. This is an inspiring (and useful!) guide for any activist - and a thoroughly entertaining read for any armchair politico. In addition, the stories Popovic tells here are hilarious, accessible, inspiring, and at times outrageous. Aside from his own experiences, also he includes little-known stories from the lives of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Harvey Milk, and Martin Luther King Jr.