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Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution Paperback – 1 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: OR Books (1 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935928570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935928577
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.9 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 613,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Cairo to cyberspace, from Main Street to Wall Street, today's social movements have a creative new edge that's blurring the boundaries between artist and activist, hacker and dreamer. But the principles that make for successful creative action rarely get hashed out or written down. Until now. Beautiful Trouble brings together ten grassroots groups and dozens of seasoned artists and activists from around the world to distill their best practices into a toolbox for creative action. Among the groups included are Agit-Pop/The Other 98%, The Yes Men/Yes Labs, Code Pink, SmartMeme, The Ruckus Society, Beyond the Choir, The Center for Artistic Activism, Waging Nonviolence, Alliance of Community Trainers and Nonviolence International. Contributors include Rae Abileah, Ryan Acuff, Celia Alario, Phil Aroneanu, Peter Barnes, Jesse Barron, Andy Bichlbaum, Nadine Bloch, Kathryn Blume, L.M. Bogad, Josh Bolotsky, Mike Bonanno, Andrew Boyd, Kevin Buckland, Margaret Campbell, Doyle Canning, Samantha Corbin, Yutaka Dirks, Steve Duncombe, Mark Engler, Simon Enoch, Jodie Evans, John Ewing, Brian Fairbanks, Bryan Farrell, Janice Fine, Lisa Fithian, Cristian Fleming, Elisabeth Ginsberg, Stan Goff, Arun Gupta, Silas Harrebye, Judith Helfand, Daniel Hunter, Sarah Jaffe, John Jordan, Dmytri Kleiner, Sally Kohn, Steve Lambert, Anna Lee, Stephen Lerner, Zack Malitz, Nancy Mancias, Duncan Meisel, Matt Meyer, Dave Oswald Mitchell, Tracey Mitchell, George Monbiot, Brad Newsham, Gaby Pacheco, Mark Read, Patrick Reinsborough, Simon Roel, Joshua Kahn Russell, Leonidas Martin Saura, Levana Saxon, Maxine Schoefer-Wulf, Nathan Schneider, Kristen Ess Schurr, John Sellers, Rajni Shah, Brooke Singer, Matt Skomarovsky, Andrew Slack, Phillip Smith, Jonathan Matthew Smucker, Starhawk, Eric Stoner, Jeremy Varon, Virginia Vitzthum, Harsha Walia, Jefferey Webber and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Taerri on 22 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An easy read but full of great interesting content. Very useful and thought provoking.Excellent service for a new book. Arrived in the condition described and very fast service so arrived before the estimated date
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A must for all social justice advocates 1 Feb. 2013
By Candon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Belongs -- in multiple copies -- on the bookshelves of every social action organization in our not-so-free world. Amazing compendium of practical, proven, effective strategies for fighting for change, created and edited by people who have been on the front lines. Oh, and carry around a couple of copies with you so that the next time someone whines, "I know, but what can I do?", you can hand them this book and say, "Pick one, and get to work." Great list of social change resources, too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Common Sense Of, By, For the Community 5 Oct. 2014
By Robert David STEELE Vivas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
From a second reading after attending The New Story Summit at Findhorn Foundation in Scotland.

QUOTE Stephan Duncombe (104): ""Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." But waiting for the truth to set us free is lazy politics. The truth does not reveal itself by virtue of being the truth: it must be told, and told well. It must have stories woven around it, works of art made about it; it must be communicated in new and compelling ways that can be passed from person to person, even if this requires flights of fancy and new methodologies."

I bought this book at Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) in NYC, along with Michel Sifry's The Big Disconnect: Why The Internet Hasn't Transformed Politics (Yet) that I am reviewing now, both of these books are huge, and the Sifry book relatively unknown when it should a "top 10" reading for all progressives.

This book (Beautiful Trouble), at 138 pages in pocket size (3/5ths of a normal pocketbook), is an utter gem. At a minimum it forces reflection. Produced by a team of people and organizations, this is a community resources in every sense of the word.

By all means use Look Inside the Book, it does offer a Kindle version look at the contents, otherwise I would have repeated the table of contents here. This is an important book, perhaps most useful as an inspiration and as a source of reflection on what is possible. It is a book I will carry in my briefcase to visit across many days and places.

Here are some highlights from my notes:

+ Book offers a "pattern language," in essence a formula for telling a new story with new means
+ See the website, a growing community
+ Song creates sympathy
+ Coordination across organizations and industries is key -- most are fragmented beyond imagination
+ Debts are shared fictions - pull the plug
+ Winning the revolution is an information challenge -- challenge the core premises publicly
+ Flash mobs work well, especially under repressive conditions
+ Strikes are non-violent but only work when they are general and cross-industry
+ Guerilla projection (projecting truth messages against facades without doing damage) is HUGE tool
+ Hoax stories that get picked up by mainstream media reveal the larger mosaic of lies that is the mainstream media
+ Core practices include clear motive and story, disruptive action with disciplined non-violence, open to participation
+ Strategic non-violence demands DEEP education of all participants to avoid false-flag provocations to violence
+ Repressed female and minority power is a huge resource to be respected and embraced
+ Highlighting human (and true) cost of any issue is not something the media does -- we must
+ Play to your SECONDARY audience (the follow on viewers of the YouTube)
+ Shift the spectrum of allies from hostile to neutral to friendly to stalwart
+ Tell the story -- the "naked truth" is simply not that effective because the story grabs the heart and the heart is central
+ Message discipline is vital -- leave the conspiracy theories even if known to be true - for after the revolution
+ Listen to those most affected by the issue, let their authenticity be your foundation on that issue
+ Challenge the behavior in context, not the person -- everyone really is a good person trapped in a bad context
+ Most are ignorant of the power they can exercise by withdrawing consent and buycotting

Below I list other titles to consider in two blocks -- five in this genre, specifics of organizing, and five in the larger context of collective intelligence and public power.

Organizing for Social Change 4th Edition
Strike Back: Using the Militant Tactics of Labor's Past to Reignite Public Sector Unionism Today
Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements
The Occupy Handbook
Occupy: Reflections on Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity (Occupied Media Pamphlet Series)

A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Common Sense Of, By, For the Community 23 July 2014
By Robert David STEELE Vivas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
EDIT of 5 October 2014 to add bullets (highlights) from a second reading after attending The New Story Summit at Findhorn Foundation in Scotland.

QUOTE Stephan Duncombe (104): ""Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." But waiting for the truth to set us free is lazy politics. The truth does not reveal itself by virtue of being the truth: it must be told, and told well. It must have stories woven around it, works of art made about it; it must be communicated in new and compelling ways that can be passed from person to person, even if this requires flights of fancy and new methodologies."

I bought this book at Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) in NYC, just concluded, along with another not listed at Amazon that I want to mention, Micah L. Sifry's "The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn't Transformed Politics (Yet).

This book, at 138 pages in pocket size (3/5ths of a normal pocketbook), is an utter gem. At a minimum it forces reflection. Produced by a team of people and organizations, this is a community resources in every sense of the word.

By all means use Look Inside the Book, it does offer a Kindle version look at the contents, otherwise I would have repeated the table of contents here. This is an important book, perhaps most useful as an inspiration and as a source of reflection on what is possible. It is a book I will carry in my briefcase to visit across many days and places.

Here are some highlights from my notes:

+ Book offers a "pattern language," in essence a formula for telling a new story with new means
+ See the website, a growing community
+ Song creates sympathy
+ Coordination across organizations and industries is key -- most are fragmented beyond imagination
+ Debts are shared fictions - pull the plug
+ Winning the revolution is an information challenge -- challenge the core premises publicly
+ Flash mobs work well, especially under repressive conditions
+ Strikes are non-violent but only work when they are general and cross-industry
+ Guerilla projection (projecting truth messages against facades without doing damage) is HUGE tool
+ Hoax stories that get picked up by mainstream media reveal the larger mosaic of lies that is the mainstream media
+ Core practices include clear motive and story, disruptive action with disciplined non-violence, open to participation
+ Strategic non-violence demands DEEP education of all participants to avoid false-flag provocations to violence
+ Repressed female and minority power is a huge resource to be respected and embraced
+ Highlighting human (and true) cost of any issue is not something the media does -- we must
+ Play to your SECONDARY audience (the follow on viewers of the YouTube)
+ Shift the spectrum of allies from hostile to neutral to friendly to stalwart
+ Tell the story -- the "naked truth" is simply not that effective because the story grabs the heart and the heart is central
+ Message discipline is vital -- leave the conspiracy theories even if known to be true - for after the revolution
+ Listen to those most affected by the issue, let their authenticity be your foundation on that issue
+ Challenge the behavior in context, not the person -- everyone really is a good person trapped in a bad context
+ Most are ignorant of the power they can exercise by withdrawing consent and buycotting

Below I list other titles to consider in two blocks -- five in this genre, specifics of organizing, and five in the larger context of collective intelligence and public power.

Organizing for Social Change 4th Edition
Strike Back: Using the Militant Tactics of Labor's Past to Reignite Public Sector Unionism Today
Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements
The Occupy Handbook
Occupy: Reflections on Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity (Occupied Media Pamphlet Series)

A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
The Power of the Powerless: Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
Participatory Budgeting (Public Sector Governance and Accountability)
Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Buy this book. Read it. Pass it on 29 Mar. 2014
By NatureGrrrl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A treasure trove of simple techniques activists can use to change the world. Succinct analysis of many, mostly highly successful, political actions; whether they were successful, how they worked or didn't, and why. It's a book that says, Yes! Try this at home. Try this with your friends, your community or college organization. Change the world, what are you waiting for.
Fantastic resource! 3 July 2015
By stormes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a college professor and am currently developing a class on Arts of Resistance where we look at contemporary art history/practice of work that is socially engaged. I have reviewed a lot of books to find materials for class, and this is the best book I have come across dedicated to the art of creative activism. I highly recommend it! We will be using this as one of our 2 main texts in class. The modules are all bite-sized and digestible. It has excellent cross-referencing to connect tactics, principles, case studies, and practitioners. It is a wonderful handbook for anyone interested in creative activism. Will not disappoint.
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