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A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict

Essay by   •  February 22, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  630 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,297 Views

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Book Review Analysis

Part I.

A "Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict" by Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall is a book that highlights revolutionary events and notable individuals in history. The book concentrates on strikes, boycotts, demonstrations, sit-ins, and civil organizations throughout a century. The principal argument of the book is that "nonviolent sanctions, if used effectively, can end oppression and liberate nations and peoples, and they can do so with less risk and more certainty than resorting to violent revolt on terror" ( Ackerman and Duvall 8). According to the author "strategic nonviolent action rather than violence was the decisive mode of engagement" (Ackerman and Duvall 8). The choice for nonviolent resistance is not made for moral reason; instead the action is an effective strategic choice. This book is crucial to read because it shows how people can achieve freedom and justice without using violence . Although violence can instill fear for a time or destroy lives and property, it cannot force people to give its users their consent to maintain their position.

Part II.

The authors use several different sources to feature this book. They interviewed experts in their field who provided essential information attained from research. The authors present a mountain of evidence of compelling individuals and stories in a narrative manner. The methods of research employed by the authors proved effective for

the reading comprehension. A Force More Powerful is a challenging read due to its focus on historical data. Nonetheless, graphics and a timeline would have made the stories easier to follow. Despite the long narrative and extended analysis, this book is essentially an advocate of the ultimate strength of people power. Its repetitive claim on peaceful political techniques persuades the reader to refrain from using avoidable armed struggle.

Part III.

The authors support their thesis by providing case studies of different nonviolent movements. The results were massive: "tyrants were toppled, governments were overthrown, occupying armies were impeded, political systems that withheld human rights were shattered"(Ackerman and Duvall 8). These outcomes proved the thesis of the book. It shows that mass civil disobedience can defy military occupation. It also suggests that perhaps most people will become involved in movements for change through such actions. The two authors, claim "the work of

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