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A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-Violent Conflict Paperback – January 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0312240509 ISBN-10: 0312240503 Edition: 1St Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; 1St Edition edition (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312240503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312240509
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A Force More Powerful challenges a longstanding myth that lies at the heart of much of the turmoil of the 20th century: that power comes from the barrel of a gun; based on convincing detail, Ackerman and Duvall dare to claim that nonviolent movements lead to more secure democracies.” —Christian Science Monitor

“A skillful blend of sweeping narrative and tightly focused case studies, the book fills a vacuum in historical studies of the 20th century.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

“This throughly researched and highly readable book underlines the contrast between stable democratic societies created by nonviolent movements and tyrannical regimes born of violent revolution. Recommended...” —Library Journal

“...this book is an important documentation of non-violence as an attested historical force.” —The Times Higher Education Supplement

About the Author

Peter Ackerman holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Jack Duvall is President of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

Customer Reviews

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Nicely written and easy to follow.
Alan F. Zundel
This is a very important book and deserves consideration for inclusion in ALL history education classes in America, if not the world.
H. Campbell
One of the most powerful books I have ever read.
ROB BROWN

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Glen G on February 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Why did revenge and vengeance dominate the 9-11 discussion by public officials and the media? Why do our public discourse and media images seem virtually bereft of the common sense that informs many other areas of life? This outstanding book could help fill the void. It consists of a dozen very well-written and well-documented case studies of the power of nonviolence in dealing with injustice on a national or international scale. And I mean the power of nonviolence like King and Gandhi lived it, not the stereotype of nonviolence as passivity or cowardice.
Good parents know revenge doesn't work with their children, good teachers know it doesn't work in the classroom, good citizens know it doesn't work in their community, and a growing proportion of the criminal justice world is embracing the vision of "restorative justice" as a much more functional grounding for most of their work. Even though the majority of people in the US know that revenge doesn't work, there is a lack of awareness of the power of nonviolence in the larger public arena, even though two thirds of the world's population has experienced nonviolent social change that was successful beyond anyone's wildest dreams in South Africa, Eastern Europe, the Philippines, Gandhi in India, the US civil rights movement, to name just a few case studies covered in this remarkable book.
As someone who has taught and worked in community centers in the highest crime areas of NYC and Oakland and directed conflict and peace studies programs for 80 public schools, a university, and several community and national organizations, I can affirm that people are hungry for the hope that comes from stories of nonviolence in action.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ROB BROWN on March 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
Excellent! One of the most powerful books I have ever read. Explodes the left-wing myth that revolutions only occur through violence a la Che Guevara, cites many examples where non-violence protest has ultimately changed the executive power of states from the Phillipines to El Salvador, and won people civil rights. Includes Gandhi and also the Civil Rights movement in the USA in the 60s as case studies.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. Campbell on September 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a very important book and deserves consideration for inclusion in ALL history education classes in America, if not the world. Of course, many powers-that-be would be adverse to this subversive idea, since it would in effect, instruct people on how to take control of their own lives out of the hands of malfeasant, greedy politicians and instead empower democracy through democracy, rather than the current American vogue of democracy at the point of a gun. The book describes several of the well-known non-violent movements as well as lesser known ones, such as the German women who embarrassed the Nazis into returning their arrested Jewish husbands from certain death. The associated documentary is also outstanding. A must-have for anyone who hopes the world can save itself from itself (and I'm not sure I'm in that category.)
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chris N. Weller on March 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
If your a social activists, and you sometimes feel that "progress" is a lost cause... READ THIS BOOK. If you are a political organizer, and it just doesn't seem worth it anymore... READ THIS BOOK. If you really believe in the power of Direct Action, but feel all used up and stale in your efforts... READ THIS BOOK. This is one of the few books available for people with leftisits, or humanist, causes that will make you smile and give you hope, and remind you that sometimes "the good fight" is a long one - but well worth it. It also takes one out of a self centered reality, and pays homage to those who have faught so hard before us. (and I am not talking about soldiers or fireman..)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chimonsho on February 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Here is a look at conflict from an alternate vantage point, and not coincidentally one of the finest TV tie-in books. In 12 chapters covering a larger number of cases from 20th century history, the authors demonstrate that nonviolence has been surprisingly effective in defeating injustice, tyranny and even concerted use of force. Africa and the Middle East receive less attention, but the overall scope is genuinely global, demonstrating that the potential for successful nonviolent resistance really is widespread if not universal. (Note: published in 2000, it covers only the first, largely nonviolent Palestinian Intifada.) Granted that use of force may be necessary in some situations, this book contains a powerful message. It is an antidote to the rush-to-battle that has characterized much recent foreign (and domestic) policy, and not just in the US. It is also superb for teaching world history and many thematic courses, offering solid case studies on which students can build their own research. Some names are familiar---Gandhi, King, Mandela---but readers will meet many unsung heroes whose stories are equally inspiring. They will aid in finding the courage to struggle, with compassion, that lies within.
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