This reading list is a historical introduction to the idea and practice of non-violence as a viable method of civil disobedience, political resistance, and protest. To study the evolution of the politics of non-violence in the 20th century requires comparison between the different strategies of non-violent political protests emerging in political regimes in the regions of South Asia, South Africa and the USA through the inspired political leadership of transformative leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.
- Singh, Upinder. Political Violence in Ancient India. Harvard University Press, 2017. “Introduction”
- Losurdo, Domenico. Non-Violence: a History beyond the Myth. Lexington Books, 2015. “From Pacifist Abolitionism to Gandhi and Tolstoy.”
- Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is within you. Read chapters I, II, XI, XII and the section “On Non-Resistance.”
- Gandhi, et al. Hind Swaraj and Other Writings. Centenary ed., Cambridge University Press, 2009. Chapter X and Letters to Tolstoy.
- Brown, Judith M., and Parel, Anthony. The Cambridge Companion to Gandhi. Cambridge University Press, 2011. Chapters 5, 6, 11, 12.
- B.R. Ambedkar. “What Path to Freedom?” Stable URL: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00ambedkar/txt_ambedkar_salvation.html
- Yengde, Suraj, and Anand Teltumbde. The Radical in Ambedkar: Critical Reflections. Gurgaon, Haryana, India: Allen Lane, an Imprint of Penguin Random House, 2018.
Films to watch:
- “The Making of the Mahatma”, dir. Shyam Benegal, 1996.
- “Gandhi”, director Richard Attenborough, 1981. Stable URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQnJjmrcxxQ.
Martin Luther King and Gandhi
- “My Trip to the Land of Gandhi”, Martin Luther King. Stable URL: https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/my-trip-land-gandhi
- “India Trip, February 3, 1959 to March 18, 1959.” Stable URL: https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/india-trip
- “Account by Lawrence Dunbar Reddick of Press Conference in New Delhi on 10 February 1959.” Stable URL: https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/account-lawrence-dunbar-reddick-press-conference-new-delhi-10-february-1959
- “Non-Violence.” Stable URL: https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/nonviolence
- Shelby, Tommie, and Brandon M. Terry. To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018. “Showdown for Non-Violence.”
- Martin Luther King: Unfulfilled Dreams: https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/unfulfilled-dreams
- Martin Luther King, Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Stable URL: https://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/Letter_Birmingham_Jail.pdf
- Martin Luther King, Jr. “Nonviolence and Social Change.” Stable URL: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/04/martin-luther-king-jr-nonviolence-direct-action
- James Baldwin. “Nobody knows my name: a letter from the South” (Nobody knows my name). “Down at The Cross — Letter from a Region of My Mind” and “Letter to my nephew on one hundred years of the Emancipation.” (The fire next time)
- Morrison, Toni. The Source of Self-Regard
Films to Watch:
- “Selma.” Directed by Ava DuVernay. Stable URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abkka8Vf2_M
- “King in the Wilderness” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eQXD_44Kso
- “I am not your Negro”. Stable URL: https://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Not-Your-Negro/dp/B01MR52U7T
Mandela and South Africa
- Boehmer, Elleke. Nelson Mandela: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2008. Chapter 4 and 8.
- Roberts, et al. Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present. Oxford University Press, 2009. Chapter 13, Tom Lodge, “The Interplay of Non-violent and Violent Action in the Movement against Apartheid in South Africa, 1983-1994.”
- Krog, Antjie. Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa. 1st ed., Times Books, 1999. Chapters 3, 4, 20, 21.
- Tutu, Desmond. No Future without Forgiveness. 1st ed., Doubleday, 1999. Chapters 2 and 11.
Films to watch:
- “The Death of Apartheid”: https://www.youtube.com/user/alphafoxtrotalpha1/search?query=apartheid
- “Amandla”: https://www.amazon.com/Amandla-Walter-Cronkite/dp/B00AOG5I0C/ref=tmm_aiv_swatch_1?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr
- “The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela” : https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/mandela/
Nonviolence and Environmentalism In India
- Rangarajan, Mahesh., and K. Sivaramakrishnan. India’s Environmental History. Ranikhet: Bangalore: Permanent Black; Distributed by Orient Blackswan, 2012.
- Cederlöf, Gunnel, and Mahesh Rangarajan. At Nature’s Edge: The Global Present and Long-term History. First ed. Oxford Scholarship Online. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2019.
- Guha, Ramachandra. How Much Should a Person Consume?: Environmentalism in India and the United States. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2006.
- Guha, Ramachandra. The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Himalaya. Expanded ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2000.
- Patkar, Medha. “Reflections on Satyagraha in Today’s India.” Social Change (New Delhi) 51, no. 1 (2021): 70-79.
Films to watch:
- Armstrong, Franny., Nina. Wadia, Arundhati Roy, Spanner Films Ltd, and Cinema Libre Studio. Drowned out. Los Angeles, California: Cinema Libre Studio, 2006.
- Shrivastava, Ruchi, Sumit Khanna, Public Service Broadcasting Trust, and Prasar Bharti Corporation. The Man Who Dwarfed the Mountains. The Open Frame. New Delhi, [India]: Public Service Broadcasting Trust, 2015.
- “ON THE FENCE: Chipko Movement Re-visited”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlooQxBTrL8
- A Narmada Diary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXOhkyaX-zc
- Roberts, et al. Civil Resistance and Power Politics: the Experience of Non-Violent Action from Gandhi to the Present. Oxford University Press, 2009.
- Kurlansky, Mark. Nonviolence: Twenty-Five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea. Modern Library, 2006.
- Nepstad, Sharon Erickson. Nonviolent Struggle: Theories, Strategies, and Dynamics. Oxford University Press USA – OSO, 2015.
- Holmes, Robert L., and Predrag Cicovacki. Ethics of Nonviolence: Essays by Robert L. Holmes. Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, 2014.
- Schell, Jonathan. The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People. 1st ed., Metropolitan Books, 2003.
- Chenoweth, Erica. Civil Resistance : What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press, 2021.
- The Nonviolence Project’s Greatest Hits – A curated playlist of songs relevant to nonviolent protests and movements.
- Nonviolent Tactics Database – Nonviolent tactics and methods that have played a role in carrying out successful campaigns of civil resistance.
- Nonviolence Research Guide – Information on how to properly research and cite literature pertaining to nonviolent protest.