About the Book

This Is an Uprising

This Is an Uprising

How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century
February 2017
Not Yet Published
Trade Paperback · 368 Pages
$16.99 U.S. · $21.99 CAN · £11.99 U.K. · €12.99 E.U.
ISBN 9781568585703
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.

About the Authors

Mark Engler, a writer based in Philadelphia, is an editorial board member at Dissent, a contributing editor at Yes! Magazine, and author of How to Rule the World: The Coming Battle Over the Global Economy (Nation Books). Paul Engler is founding director of the Center for the Working Poor, based in Los Angeles. He worked for more than a decade as an organizer in the immigrant rights, global justice, and labor movements.