BLUEPRINT FOR REVOLUTION is an illustrated guide to changing the world, or just your community, through non-violent means, from the slacker-turned-world revolutionary--named "the secret architect of the Arab Spring" by The Atlantic--who orchestrated the non-violent fall of Milošević in his native Serbia, and went on to influence peaceful uprisings from Georgia to Zimbabwe to Lebanon.
In BLUEPRINT FOR REVOLUTION, Srdja Popovic outlines his philosophy for implementing peaceful world change and provides a model for activists everywhere through stories of his own experience toppling dictatorships (peacefully) and of smaller examples of social change (like Occupy Wall Street or fighting for gay rights). Through examples of using laughter and music (e.g., Pussy Riot) to disarm the opposition and gather supporters, to staging a protest of Lego Men in Siberia (when flesh-and-blood people would have been shot), to a boycott of Cottage cheese in Israel to challenge price inflation while organizing around rice pudding to overthrow the dictator of the Maldives, Popovic uses true and sometimes outrageously clever examples of the ways in which non-violent resistance has achieved its means. Popovic argues in favor of non-violent resistance not for ideological reasons (as persuasive as those are) but because non-violence actually works better than violence. This is an inspiring (and useful!) guide for any activist--and a thoroughly entertaining read for any armchair politico. In addition, the stories Popovic tells here are hilarious, accessible, inspiring, and at times outrageous. Aside from his own experiences, he includes little-known stories from the lives of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Harvey Milk, Martin Luther King Jr., etc.
Advance praise for Blueprint for Revolution
“With this wonderful book, Srdja Popovic is inspiring ordinary people facing injustice and oppression to use this toolkit to challenge their oppressors and create something much better. When I was growing up, we dreamed that young people could bring down those who misused their power and create a more just and democratic society. For Srdja Popovic, living in Belgrade in 1998, this same dream was potentially a much more dangerous idea. But with an extraordinarily courageous group of students that formed Otpor!, Srdja used imagination, invention, cunning, and lots of humor to create a movement that not only succeeded in toppling the brutal dictator Slobodan Milošević but has become a blueprint for nonviolent revolution around the world. Srdja rules!”—Peter Gabriel
“Blueprint for Revolution is not only a spirited guide to changing the world but a breakthrough in the annals of advice for those who seek justice and democracy. It asks (and not heavy-handedly): As long as you want to change the world, why not do it joyfully? It’s not just funny. It’s seriously funny. No joke.”—Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties and Occupy Nation
"DIY handbook for those newly interested or already engaged in civilized activism. Belgrade-based Serbian political activist Popovic parlays his experience on the activist front lines in Syria and Kiev into a uniquely personable, often droll directive on the nuances of peaceable protesting. The author begins with accounts of the earliest development of a grass-roots resistance movement called OTPOR. The group's 1992 Serbian protest opposed then-president Slobodan Milosevic's dictatorial tactics but used turkeys and flowers instead of weapons and embodied Popovic's motto to "start with something small, relevant, but achievable." The author's tool kit includes examples of the kind of effectively creative peaceful protests rarely covered by the contemporary news media, using oranges, ping pong balls, rock music and the kind of disarming humor he calls "laughtivism." Popovic profiles the men and women responsible for some of the most proactive, noninvasive protests across the globe—their names carefully enshrouded for privacy, of course. Empowered by American activists like Harvey Milk and James Lawson and even the underdog themes found in The Lord of the Rings, the author presents stimulating ideas backed by sensible and entertaining vignettes. In the concluding chapters, Popovic discusses the importance of a group's unity and identity and offers useful tips and strategies on how to organize an assembly, the myriad ways to keep the group fresh, organized, and, most importantly, unarmed and nonviolent, and the most effective methods to ensure they flourish and result in positive social and political change. Collectively, Popovic's examples reflect what he calls "people power," and he communicates the ideas and sentiments of these "ordinary revolutionaries" with verve and humor, encouraging everyone to "oppose oppression and bring about liberty, democracy, and joy." A motivational and impactful guide to the "movements that are now sweeping through so much of the world, from Cairo's Tahrir Square to Occupy Wall Street." - Kirkus Reviews