How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning

George Lakey. Melville House, $26.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-61219-753-1
This slim volume on inclusive nonviolent direct action campaigns from Lakey (Viking Economics), an organizer, activist, and academic, is an intriguing hybrid. It’s part how-to manual for “building a movement of movements” for change and social justice, part rallying cry, and part an extended attempt to give three lesser-known activists (Daniel Hunter, Ryan Leitner, and Eileen Flanagan) wider exposure. Drawing lessons from the American civil rights movement of the 1960s; campaigns against coal mining methods in the U.S.; and change movements in France, Serbia, and Chile, Lakey breaks down key points of successful movements for change: have specific aims, maximize effectiveness by understanding the other side’s position, and have a positive outcome in mind before launching a campaign. Lakey doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties inherent in organizing across class and racial lines, but offers an outline of constructive and accessible methods to patiently build resilient consensus and agitate effectively for change. “Blame and shame are out. It’s about walking with people and building deep, meaningful relationships,” says one activist. Lakey doesn’t make it sound easy, but he employs a reasoned, seasoned perspective to clearly convey principles of organization that have proved their value to activists worldwide. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/14/2019
Release date: 12/01/2018
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