People Power: A Look at Nonviolent Action and Defense

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In our increasingly violent world, people power offers a way to deal with conflict without using violence. It lets ordinary people work together to gain extraordinary power and to improve society, using nonviolent methods. This comprehensive book includes discussions of the principles of nonviolence as well as methods and training for nonviolent actions. Dramatic photos complement the text, which is filled with examples that will encourage discussion among young readers. Young ...
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Overview

In our increasingly violent world, people power offers a way to deal with conflict without using violence. It lets ordinary people work together to gain extraordinary power and to improve society, using nonviolent methods. This comprehensive book includes discussions of the principles of nonviolence as well as methods and training for nonviolent actions. Dramatic photos complement the text, which is filled with examples that will encourage discussion among young readers. Young Adult.

Covers the definition, principles, and methods of nonviolence, including civil disobedience.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFaye
The words "Civil Disobedience" bring to mind Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Henry David Thoreau; but the words refer a far more complex set of issues than just the many famous people who have practiced it. In this book, Neiburg Terkel takes an in-depth look at the many facets of the power of nonviolent action and defense. Stressing the fact that nonviolence requires discipline and organization, and is not simply a passive form of resistance, she explores the multiple forms this type of struggle has taken in the past. Defining the many terms related to this practice and exploring the many successful and failed attempts of using nonviolence, the author gives a slightly biased, but mostly balanced view of nonviolent action. Asking questions like "Was Gandhi unreasonable in suggesting that Jews should practice nonviolence against the Nazi's before World War II started? If so, Why?" - she doesn't shy away from the complexity or the shocking aspects of the issues she discusses. She also provides an extensive discussion of how individuals learn to use nonviolence, and she explores how it can be used on individual, group, and national levels. Complete with photographs, bibliography, glossary, index, and citations, this book is a good starting point for anyone interested in learning more about nonviolent action and defense.
VOYA - Kellie Shoemaker
These two new titles are similar in their subjects-people using a variety of methods to facilitate change-but the scope and style of each are very different. Protest! is primarily a historical overview of the protest movement interspersed with discussions of the different forms that protest has taken and the philosophies behind specific protests, including those surrounding the struggle for civil rights, antiwar activities in the United States, labor unions, and major world events. More recent events such as the Oklahoma bombing also are covered. Some details regarding the risks and benefits of planning and executing protests also are discussed, including the possible consequences of these actions. But is Protest! a historical overview or a how-to-do-it manual? Unfortunately, this book suffers from the "little bit of everything" syndrome, in which the author attempts to cover too many ideas in this one arena. Nonetheless, it is disconcerting to find no mention of Cesar Chavez, the Irish Republican Army, or the dustbowl migration and subsequent attempts to organize unions in California during the '30s. Protests are an important part of history and a book on this subject is needed, but a cleaner and finer focus would have made this one much more accurate and complete. People Power has a similar theme, except the author has chosen to focus on nonviolent methods to facilitate change. Using quotations, real-life examples and news events, this book provides a wealth of information on every aspect of nonviolence, including why it is used, what it accomplishes, when it has worked (and when it has not), the training of the participants, and the consequences of taking a nonviolent approach to solving problems. Many famous and not-so-famous nonviolent actions are detailed: Cesar Chavez and the grape boycott, the prison fasts of the first suffragists, and the Native American takeover of Alcatraz Island are but a few. This complete and thorough guide to a sensitive and important subject might provide not only information for school reports, but a way of life for many young people searching for alternatives to violence. Choose this one to fill both of these needs. Glossary. Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Note: This review was written and published to address two titles: Protest! and People Power: A Look at Nonviolent Action and Defense. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 8 UpTerkel describes a variety of events and movements in 20th-century history that have been fundamentally impacted by the use of nonviolent resistance and defense techniques. She focuses on Gandhi's protests against British control in India and the South African discrimination against Indians, as well as on the American civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. She also cites recent successful protests at Galludet University against hiring a non-deaf president and a demonstration in Denver by disabled citizens who were unable to ride the city buses. The author carefully distinguishes between "practical nonviolence" (which emphasizes tactics) and "principled nonviolence" (which emphasizes philosophy). The book's particular strength lies in its critical approach; it shows the limits of nonviolence as strategy when one's adversary is immoral and oppressive. In addition, Terkel analyzes unsuccessful nonviolent protests where demonstrators protested too long or gave up too quickly. She also discusses how "evil causes" can utilize nonviolent techniques. Well-chosen black-and-white photographs illustrate the text. A thought-provoking, informative over-view of a controversial and complex subject.Jack Forman, Mesa College Library, San Diego
Hazel Rochman
Nonviolent action--what it is, how to use it, when it works, when it fails--is the subject of this argumentative discussion. The writing is undistinguished, and the organization is haphazard, with lots of repetition; in fact, the chapter and section divisions seem arbitrary; this is really one long chatty essay. The drama is in the examples, and readers will be caught up by the stories and occasional photos of the confrontations, from the actions of historical figures such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King to the protests of contemporary groups against the slaughter of whales. There are inspiring success stories--such as the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the overthrow of apartheid--and Terkel calls on readers to take a stand for their beliefs. However, she is careful to point out on almost every page that there is no surefire formula for success or even for judging whether you're right. Chapter notes will help readers find out more; meanwhile, this is a good start for personal reading and group discussion about nonviolent protest.
Kirkus Reviews
In this well-crafted introductory guide, subtitled "A Look at Nonviolent Action and Defense," Terkel (Colonial American Medicine, 1993, etc.) takes on the loaded issue of "people power," or nonviolent protest. She examines each of the component parts of nonviolent action in a sober manner, maintaining a sympathetic, scholarly tone. Readers learn that through psychological, social, economic, and political means, advocates throughout history have improved the rights of women, migrant workers, gays, and the physically challenged, enduring hardship without drawing the blood of their opponents.

This mature examination leaves no vision of love beads glittering before readers' eyes. Terkel is careful to stress that while high-flying ideals may anchor protest actions or sanctions, activists must measure their strategy and timing carefully, lest they fail because of too little press coverage, bad timing, or excessive zeal. While the author may be a bit liberal in her use of the quotations of famous pacifists, she wrestles with questions—e.g., where does civil disobedience end and terrorism begin?—that provide readers with plenty to think about. The book is easy to understand but not simplistic; straightforward without being cynical; informative and, yes, inspiring.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525674344
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/1996
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.18 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.87 (d)

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