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$29.95 cloth, 

$19.95, paper, 

608 pages, 2005

5 1/2" x 8 1/2" 



Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential

Gene Sharp 

This groundbreaking new work builds on 50 years of Gene Sharps definitive academic research and practical experience aiding nonviolent struggles around the world. Recently, advocates have applied these methods and strategies with great success in Serbia and Ukraine. In his most recent work, Dr. Sharp shows how to strategically plan nonviolent struggle and make it more effective.

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In Waging Nonviolent Struggle, Dr. Sharp documents 23 significant—and often successful—20th century nonviolent struggles in a range of cultural and political contexts, and reaffirms nonviolent action as a realistic and powerful alternative to both passivity and violence.

Building on the power analysis of his seminal Politics of Nonviolent Action, Dr. Sharp coherently integrates his theories into praxis, with a vitality tested on the frontlines, often under extreme violence.

Any serious studentor practitionerof nonviolent struggle will find this book an invaluable resource. Skeptics will be compelled to seriously consider nonviolent action’s viability.

Today’s world is in desperate need of realistic alternatives to violent conflict. Waging Nonviolent Struggle demonstrates that these alternatives exist.

“Written especially to answer the demanding need for realistic alternatives to violent conflict, Waging Nonviolent Struggle succeeds admirably in its mission and carries the absolute highest recommendation.” (full review)

Midwest Book Review



This book is a masterpiece. Its content is going to be very useful not only to those who study nonviolent struggle but also to those in need, nonviolent activists of pro-democratic movements in the world's great battlefields.

With Waging Nonviolent Struggle, Dr. Gene Sharp adds a new page in his brilliant biography, making a huge step towards a practical approach to strategic nonviolent struggle. As a practitioner, trainer and consultant, I am once again proud that I had the opportunity to learn from Gene, and transfer his precious knowledge worldwide.

Srdja Popovic, Co-founder

Serbian democracy movement Otpor



“Gene Sharp is one of the most imaginative strategic thinkers of our time. His life career, devoted to the development of concepts involved in nonviolent struggle, has made enormous strides in alerting world policy makers to the possibilities and risks of the phenomena. In arenas from the U.S. Army War College to defense and foreign ministries around the world, he has persuasively lectured, argued, and explained his views. Waging Nonviolent Struggle is in many ways a capstone to his mountainous works: comprehensive, readable and rationally presented. This volume will inform the skeptical and entice those capable of thinking beyond the box. We are all the richer for its publication.”

Major General Edward B. Atkeson, U.S. Army (Ret.), PhD

Senior Fellow, Institute of Land Warfare

Association of the U.S. Army



Waging Nonviolent Struggle is a powerful encyclopedia of major campaigns that adhere to the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. This book should be used as a major text for those individuals, groups, and even nations that aspire to the way of nonviolence.”

U.S. Congressman John Lewis



For more than thirty years, Gene Sharp has been in the top rank of the world’s scholars of  nonviolenceresearching, investigating, cataloguing, classifying, and reflecting upon the nonviolent struggles of the twentieth century.  In Waging Nonviolent Struggle he has distilled much of what he has learned, in the form of case histories, practical advice, and reflection, to produce a work of the greatest value.”

Jonathan Schell, Peace & Disarmament Correspondent

The Nation



Waging Nonviolent Struggle is a must-read book for policymakers and practitioners who in the aftermath of the peaceful democratic revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia are finally asking 'How did it happen?' As Dr. Sharp reminds us throughout, conducting effective nonviolent struggle is not magic, it is the result of careful planning and strategic thinking.  He takes us through the essential elements of nonviolent struggle and strategy, illustrated by a number of case studiessome familiar, others never analyzed before.

While no struggle is the same, and there is no simple formula for success, Dr. Sharp convincingly argues that movements achieve their objectives when they are grounded in a clear-headed assessment of the existing allocation of power in a society, and a strategic, disciplined use of a set of tactics and actions that effectively shifts that power away from those who hold it towards the unarmed movement pushing for change. This book builds upon and expands his earlier work.”

Jennifer Windsor, Executive Director

Freedom House



. . . a remarkably timely book. . . . Sharp makes it clear that strategic nonviolence is a critical tool in the waging of today's struggles, from dismantling dictatorships and blocking coups détat to defense against foreign aggression. . . . Every social activist should have a copy! To say nothing of every scholar in the fields of conflict resolution and social change. Theory and practice are well-matched.(full review)

Elise Boulding

Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Dartmouth College

Former Secretary General, International Peace Research Association

in Peacework Magazine, May 2005



“Waging Nonviolent Struggle is an indispensable work. It is an up-to-date guide and a gateway to other valuable resources. Clear organization (and a detailed index) make this book "consultable" as well as readable, and at $14.95 it is very reasonably priced. When it comes to nonviolent struggle, Sharp does not have all the answers; but you can find more of them by starting with his writings than any other way I know.

Waging Nonviolent Struggle brings together, in comparatively compact form, many of the arguments and analyses from the vast corpus of Sharp's decades of research. The reader new to Sharp's work will find the gist of it here, with adequate detail, but also guidance for how to pursue many topics in greater depth. Those who have read one or more of Sharp's previous books and feel familiar with his approach will find here no mere restatement, but instead a provocative program for world social improvement enriched by new historical experience and analysis. (full review)

Robert A. Irwin, MIT

Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies  

in Peacework Magazine, May 2005




“Unlike most academics, Sharp is a practitioner as well as a writer, having considerable courage to roll his sleeves up and get his hands dirty at the political sharp end, in Latvia in 1991 and particularly in Tiananmen Square in 1989.”

Jeremy Jones

Research Fellow, Belfer Center, Harvard University

Senior Research Associate, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

in Harvard International Review, Summer 2005




Too many people who speak about Sharp's work are unaware of its sophistication and practicality. Promoting Sharp's work can inform public discourse, help the centuries-long effort to understand the concept of nonviolence, and assist programs in peace and conflict studies around the world. With the new book, Waging Nonviolent Struggle, readers have another opportunity to recognize and to appreciate Sharp's achievement. (full review)

Michael True

Emeritus Professor of English, Assumption College

in Peacework Magazine, May 2005




“An intriguing book, which will repay study from multiple perspectives . . . as a strategic text, it presents a rich array of ideas well worth serious consideration and further development, from an activist as well as a scholarly or even a professional-strategic viewpoint.”

 James F. Keeley, Ph.D

Professor, University of Calgary

in Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, Fall 2005



“Gene Sharp has done more to advance our understanding and practice of strategic nonviolence than anyone except Mahatma Gandhi himself. Waging Nonviolent Struggle is a compendium of his wisdom developed over half a century of serious study, writing, and consulting. If I were to recommend one volume on nonviolent struggle to newcomers and experts alike, it would be this one. Its argument is nuanced with deep social social and political theory, but also includes a practical guide to strategic planning for activists.” (full review)

Lester R. Kurtz, Professor

Department of Sociology, U. of Texas-Austin

in Ahimsa Nonviolence

 Vol. 1, No. 2, March-April 2005



Since the early 1970s, former Harvard professor Gene Sharp has been the most influential figure among those who study nonviolence as practices of social struggle. . . . [Waging Nonviolent Struggle] is a significant work. It is a good one-volume primer on nonviolence-theory (minus discussion of spiritual resources and practices) for classes and for activist groups. I recommend it highly. (full review)

Michael L. Westmoreland-White, Ph.D.

Research Associate, Fuller Theological Seminary Extension 

Adjunct Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Spalding University

for, 6/4/05 



“Gene Sharp has outdone himself. For thirty years he has been the pre-eminent scholar showing societies how to get rid of oppressive rulers. No one else—at least since Gandhi—has been such a brilliant strategist of nonviolent resistance.”

 John Bacher, a Toronto writer and activist,
in Peace Magazine, Jul-Sep 2005



“For the student of nonviolence, this is a mandatory volume, full of stories and theory, tactics and political exegesis. Sharp knows his material more thoroughly than anyone, and he has recruited the best colleagues.” [full review]

Tom H. Hastings, professor

Portland State University

in The Peaceworker



Insightful, practical and inspiringa must read for those working for a culture of peace. [full review]

Tony Dominski
Culture of Peace News NetworkFebruary 2006



[A] strong argument for moving away from the practices of the twentieth century, a century that witnessed state sanctioned violence on an unprecedented scale, to devising strategies that solve problems in a nonviolent manner. This book is a `must read,' not only for social studies teachers, but also for government leaders and policy makers alike .  

Robert L. Stevens , Chair

Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction

University of Texas at Tyler

 in Social Education, October 1, 2005



This is a book of great value and, because of its pragmatic approach, can reach out to and convince a wider audience of the efficacy of nonviolent struggle and the need for it in the "battles" of the 21st century. (full review)

 Carol Rank

Senior Lecturer, Center for Peace and Reconciliation Studies

Coventry University, England

in The Nonviolent Activist, November-December 2005



Masterful . . . a useful addition to courses [with] a philosophical or theological focus, as well as serving as a practical bible for the next generation of nonviolent activists. (full review)

John E. Cort
Professor of Asian and Comparative Religions, Denison University
in Religious Studies Review, January 2006
Maria J. Stephan, Ph.D
Manager of Educational Initiatives
International Center on Nonviolent Conflict
and Jacob Mundy
Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco and graduate student 



"I'm recommending Gene Sharp's Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential. (The title really sounds like a tome gathering dust from college days, one you'd never actually READbut in fact it's an encyclopedia of helpfulness from the preeminent secular theorist of nonviolence.) From our neighborhoods and communities to Capitol Hill, to the U.N., to the Middle East, to Central Africa, we newly empowered American citizens are now engaged in shaping a future of hope for our country and our world. Strategic planning is politicsand I would submit that progressive politics is strategic planning for nonviolent conflict. Have at it!"

Mimi Kennedy, Chair

Progressive Democrats of America

in The Huffington Post, November 19, 2006


"An important read for academics and activists . . . will help any group wanting to engage in nonviolent action,"

Tisa M. Anders, PhD.

in International Journal on World Peace, March 2007



Other Extending Horizons books by Gene Sharp


The Politics of Nonviolent Action (3 parts)

Part One: Power and Struggle

Part Two: The Methods of Nonviolent Action

Part Three: The Dynamics of Nonviolent Action

Gandhi as a Political Strategist

Social  Power and Political Freedom

Other Gene Sharp titles at the Albert Einstein Institution



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