Twenty-one years ago, at a friend's request, scholar Gene Sharp wrote a generic blueprint for non-violent resistance to repressive regimes. It was then translated, photocopied, and handed from one rebel to another, travelling from country to country across the globe: from Iran to Venezuela--where both countries consider Gene Sharp to be an enemy of the state--to Serbia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Vietnam, the former Soviet Union, China, Nepal, and more recently and notably in Tunisia, Egypt, the Yemen, Libya, and Syria, where the leaders of the Arab Spring view Sharp's ideas as the guiding light of their movement.
This short, pithy, and extraordinarily clear guide to overthrowing a dictatorship by non-violent means lists 198 specific methods: sit-ins, popular non-obedience, selective strikes, withdrawal of bank deposits, revenue refusal, walk-outs, silence, and hunger strikes. Now available for the first time as a trade book, "From Dictatorship to Democracy" has made the little-known Gene Sharp into the world's most effective and sought-after analyst of resistance to authoritarian regimes. For anyone seeking to understand the political change that is sweeping the globe--or for anyone seeking to make change at home--here is the one-stop guide for our times.