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Book Excerpts

Denmark, the Netherlands, and Rosenstrasse
On February 27, 1943, SS soldiers and local Gestapo agents began seizing the Jews of Berlin in an operation called "the Final Roundup." This excerpt details the vigils held by non-Jewish German wives and mothers of those seized who gathered day and night, singing and chanting, demanding that the Germans "Let our husbands go!"

Argentina
This excerpt chronicles how a group of women, angered by the disappearance of their sons, marched around Buenos Aires' Plaza de Mayo to focus attention on the regime's repressive policies.

China
This excerpt shows how, after weeks of organizing ever-growing demonstrations, the students' failure to broaden their mobilizing and to negotiate prudently with the regime exposed them to the crack-down that felled the movement.

India
This excerpt analyzes the great 1930-31 campaign against the British in India, and the subsequent campaign in 1934. While the results were mixed, and the campaign did not result in constitutional change, it demonstrated the power of ordinary Indians to drive events.

Poland
This excerpt discusses the new social action engaged by Polish dissidents in the early 1980s. It examines the strike, led by Lech Walesa, in which workers challenged the Communist Party and achieved the right to organize.

The Mythology of Violence
This excerpt looks at the historical roots of the allure of violent revolution as a method of delivering power to the people and why it has usually failed to do so.