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Blueprint for Revolution How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Non-Violent Techniques to Galvanise Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World by Srdja Popovic, Matthew Miller
  

Blueprint for Revolution How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Non-Violent Techniques to Galvanise Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World

The Real World   

Sue Baker's view...

As a student activist, part of the group who overthrew Slobodan Milosevic, Srdja Popovic found that humour and ridicule were effective non-violent tools for change. Looking at peaceful protest worldwide he shows just how effective – and funny it can be.

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Synopsis

Blueprint for Revolution How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Non-Violent Techniques to Galvanise Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World by Srdja Popovic, Matthew Miller

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.

Reviews

'Brilliant ... Full of knowing cultural references, witty asides and awareness of the reader ... Make sure you give it to your friends after you've read it.'
Duncan Green The Guardian

'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. But 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 humour to create a movement that not only succeeded in toppling the brutal dictator Slobodan Milosevic, but has become a blueprint for non-violent revolution around the world. Through his experiences, his organisation Canvas, and now, with this wonderful book, he is inspiring ordinary people facing injustice and oppression to use this toolkit to challenge their oppressors and create something much better. 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 only funny, but seriously funny. No joke.'
Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties and Occupy Nation

'Highly readable ... combining an entertaining primer on the theory and practice of peaceful protest with a very personal account of [Popovic's] own involvement with it.'
Jon Henley Guardian

'The title is no exaggeration ... Popovic cheerfully blows up just about every idea most people hold about nonviolent struggle.'
Tina Rosenberg

'An ideological starter kit for understanding how nonviolent movements can be effective against highly militarized regimes ... [Popovic] offers a clear, well-constructed, and easily applicable set of principles for any David facing any Goliath (sans slingshot, of course).'
The Boston Globe

'A worthwhile, funny, heartfelt and thought-provoking book ... [Srdja Popovic's] energised prose is sometimes convincing, always likeable and has the gusto of a young Iggy Pop.'
Jane Graham Big Issue

'[D]oes much to demystify the daunting business of bringing about social change.'
PICK OF THE WEEK

-- Fiona Capp Sydney Morning Herald 'An inspiring guide for protest movements around the world ... There is undoubtably an innate wisdom, a voice of hope and another of principles and practicalities in Popovic's mission to show communities how to defeat the most wicked of despots.
Gerald Isaaman Camden New Journal

'[S]hows how real people can use ingenious and sometimes bafflingly odd methods to bring down brutal rulers.'
James Belfield Sunday Star Times

'[F]ascinating and entertaining ... Anyone with an appetite for change should find real value here.'
Jim Robinson North and South

About the Author

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th March 2015

Author

Srdja Popovic, Matthew Miller

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Publisher

Scribe Publications

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Categories

Social theory
Peace studies & conflict resolution

ISBN

9781922247872

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