Too often, revolutionary movements become as oppressive as regimes they struggle to replace. The Limits of Violence is a rare and unusual book which warns revolutionaries about the ways they can betray their own revolution and offers ideas to guide them through the pitfalls of both struggle and victory.
This book is full of reflections on revolutionary experience. You will find what is relevant in it to you. It also contains stories and poetry that will entertain you through long days and nights while provoking you to think about their themes.
If you are risking your life or anyone else's for your cause, spend some time considering what can go wrong and how to prevent or fix that. As you will discover in this book, later may be too late.
This book has been translated into Spanish as Los Límites de la Violencia: Lecciones de una vida revolucionaria and is available through CreateSpace, Amazon, Amazon Kindle and its ditribution channels.
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About the Author
Ira Chaleff's political consciousness was formed during the early 1960's when he was an undergraduate student at the University of California at Berkeley. It was the height of the Civil Rights movement that fought to bring equal rights and protection of the law to African-Americans. He was one of 800 students arrested in the first mass sit-in demonstration in the North of the U.S. in support of freedom of speech on campus and of the courageous groups working to end the apartheid system that existed in the Southern U.S.
He spent many years trying to create a saner world before mankind annihilated itself through nuclear war during the cold war period. Some of these efforts led him to follow leaders who proved to be no better at responsibly using power than those who ran the system that needed to be changed.
He eventually rejoined the mainstream of society and has attempted to prevent or remedy abuses of power through his classic book The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders first published in 1995 and now in its third edition (also available in Spanish).
Ira engaged in the project that became The Limits Of Violence after reading about the atrocities committed in Sierra Leone in West Africa during its civil war that lasted from 1991 t0 2002. He was grateful that the figure of Elan Le Vieux appeared as a way to respond to the unspeakable acts committed there in the name of revolution. Having been sensitized by this project to the challenges of conducting revolution productively, he traveled to Chiapas, Mexico in 2002 to see for himself the impact of the Zapatistas, who were developing new philosophies of revolution. In 2008 he was fortunate to be invited to Sierra Leone to address its parliamentary leaders who were trying to stabilize the country after its devastating war. The events that led to his engagement with The Limits of Violence had come full circle.
Ira's most recent book, Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You're Told To Do Is Wrong will be published in 2015.