Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book brings down governments, 22 Mar 2011
This review is from: From Dictatorship to Democracy (Kindle Edition)
This book brings down governments

I remember that Woody Guthrie had written on his guitar "This machine kills fascists" Perhaps this book should have the sign This brook brings down dictators.

I have to confess that I was completely ignorant of this book/booklet until I read a couple of articles about it in the press. I am surprised that I had not come across it before as I am an avid reader of books on insurgency and counter insurgency..
This is of course not a military book so that is maybe why I missed it even though it has been around since 1993.

The articles claimed that his works which were originally written for the Burmese has been copied and read by other groups around the world. As a result he is touted as being the person who created the wherewithal for the various freedom groups to take on the dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa. As a result just this year Tunisia has fallen to a fairly peaceful revolutiion Egypt happened quickly and had a few casualties and as I write the coalition is attacking Gaddaffi in Libya.
There are rumblings in Yemen , Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. If what they say it true this is a very powerful book indeed. The Iranian government has denounced him as a CIA agent. I would like to write something half as powerful . It is interesting that these dictatorships seems to be more afraid of words rather than military power.

The book is 93 pages long and the first 78 pages is a discussion of his theories, The most important is his theory that violence doesn't work.

In a way he is right as you cannot take on the dictatorship upon their own terms. They have military force and that is a way they maintain their power.

In the past Che Guevara and Mao would advocate military force which might work against weak regimes but not against hard line ones.

He covers the dangers of negotiation which is another way that freedom fighters think they are going to take on the dictatorship. How can you negotiate effectively with a regime that has all the cards.

You have to attack the dictatorship at its weak points which you do through non violent struggle.

The nub of the book is the list of 198 methods of non violent protest and persuasion.

It is a like a book on non violent marketing methods.

A must read for both real and armchair revolutionaries
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Peter Wade
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Location: Colchester England

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