Blueprint for Revolution Book Summary - Blueprint for Revolution Book explained in key points
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Blueprint for Revolution summary

Srdja Popovic and Matthew Miller

How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Non-Violent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators or Simply Change the World

4.3 (32 ratings)
14 mins
6 key ideas
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What is Blueprint for Revolution about?

Blueprint for Revolution (2015) is your guide to starting a social movement that inspires people to come together and make real change happen. These blinks use historical anecdotes to detail a variety of nonviolent techniques that can be used to apply political pressure, fight oppression and diminish fear.

About the Author

Srdja Popovic is a Serbian activist and a leader in the Otpor! movement that helped topple the Serbian dictator, Slobodan Milošević.

Table of Contents

    Blueprint for Revolution
    summarized in 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Start a revolution by picking a battle you can win.

    During its infancy, any revolutionary movement is relatively unknown to the public, which makes it difficult to build a following. That’s why movements need to make names for themselves before they can draw in the crowds. The most effective strategy is picking small, winnable battles.

    Some of the most powerful nonviolent revolutions in recent history were launched in precisely this way. Just take Gandhi’s long march to an independent India. It began with a smaller journey that has since been dubbed the Salt March of 1930.

    This action was a response to the high taxes on salt imposed by the British Empire. Knowing that salt was a necessity for everyone, Gandhi began a month-long march to the sea, at the end of which he would extract salt from the water.

    By the time his journey reached its end, Gandhi had been joined by 12,000 others. The British were caught off guard and were forced to drop the salt tax. Launching his movement in this way gave Gandhi access to momentum and fame that helped him win bigger fights down the line.

    So, small victories are key, but what about speeches? Although many believe you must have inspiring speeches to affect social change, it’s about far more than that. Just take Harvey Milk, an American politician and the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in the United States.

    As he began his political career, Milk thought that the way to acquire followers was to give speeches about the things that mattered to him. However, this strategy didn’t pan out, and he lost two elections.

    Learning from his failures, he revised his strategy and began campaigning about something that everyone in his home city of San Francisco cared about: the dog poop that plagued the city’s parks. In the end, the campaign was hugely successful. Milk made a name for himself, and in 1977 he was elected to local government.

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    Best quote from Blueprint for Revolution

    The human race has unquestionably one really effective weapon – laughter. Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. – Mark Twain

    —Srdja Popovic and Matthew Miller
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    Who should read Blueprint for Revolution

    • Political activists who want to change the world
    • Students of politics and history
    • People who are new to the history of revolutionary movements

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