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A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-violent Conflict
This nationally-acclaimed book shows how popular movements used nonviolent action to overthrow dictators, obstruct military invaders and secure human rights in country after country, over the past century. Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall depict how nonviolent sanctions--such as protests, strikes and boycotts--separate brutal regimes from their means of control. They tell ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 5th 2001 by St. Martin's Griffin
(first published 2000)
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I saw Ackerman speak-- he's an interesting guy. Even better than the book is the companion documentary. Although I don't identify as catagorically pacifist, both the book and the film do a wonderful job of radicalizing nonviolence, and illustrating joy in revolution. Bust it up, ya'll.
Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall start A Force More Powerful out with a seemingly audacious claim -- that nonviolent resistance and action is superior to its violent counterpart not morally (although probably this too) but practically. Even after the disastrous wars of the past decade pacifism seems quaint and idealistic, even sacrificing results for one's own moral purity. To seem serious political leaders can only oppose war on tactical and not moral ground. But through many examples from 20th ...more
I only bothered finishing this book because of the many glimpses it gave into chapters of history that I didn't really know about all across the globe (people's movements in Burma, Philippines, Mongolia, Poland, Argentina, Palestine, etc etc). I appreciated the global breadth and scope. However, they were just glimpses, and I think there's a lot more that wasn't covered. I also found the authors' tone somewhat pedantic at times, and was annoyed at how they dismissed violent movements out of ...more
A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-Violent Conflict is an excellent overview of non-violent conflict in the past 100 years or so. Inspiring and compelling, Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall, not only create in this work a concise account, but argue persuasively that not only is the history of non-violent conflict and account of courageous change but it is more effective than armed methods, and that in fact, violent methods reduce the chances of positive change. This is easily seen for example ...more
“A Force More Powerful’ makes a wonderful case for the potency of non-violent resistance; it made me realise how militancy and violence are engrained in our middle eastern culture and it also totally changed my mind on “justified” armed opposition to counter unyielding brutal regimes. This book, by outlining cases from the dawn of the 20th century, in St Petersburg, to apartheid South Africa, moving to the Philippines and India, crossing Poland and reaching the American Jim Crow brutality and ...more
I appreciate the angle this book took: that nonviolence is not simply a moral choice, but also a powerful strategy to effect societal and political change. The authors use nonviolent movements from throughout the 20th century, not all of them successful, to illustrate how these strategies worked and why some of them failed. Reading it did bring up a few questions for me, like is there ever an instance when nonviolence is doomed from the start (the Rwandan genocide is one situation that comes to ...more
While they can't be lauded for impartiality, the authors are definitely biased in the right direction. In a series of case studies, the non-violent implementation of direct social action via peaceful protest and mutual cooperation is profiled and praised. Despite its unwieldy length, this book should be of great import to those in power, and to those who oppose that power when it becomes oppressive.
I've been reading book on and off for several months. For anyone interested in organizing and nonviolent action, and creating lasting social change -- this books offers a history of nonviolent conflict and success stories. It's a primer and more. Love it so far, almost done and happy to lend it to anyone interested in nonviolent action and organizing.
This is both a book and video. It is a great way to begin a discussion on past and current politics and the potential of collective leadership. The examples are drawn from the US and abroad and capture the feeling of the times, people and issues.
An amazing history of events most often absent from standard history, including the phenomenal story of the women of Rossenstrasse: German women who freed their Jewish husbands from the Nazis through days of non-violent protests!
This is one of the best comprehensive historical non-violent conflict resolution books that I've read. Truly, each story is one of hope that we can learn from our history, not only the mistakes we wish not to repeat, but methods and tools to use for future conflict resolution.
Peter Ackerman is series editor and principal content advisor for the documentary television series, A Force More Powerful. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, of which he is now Chairman of the Board of Overseers.