The credit for the nonviolence in Cairo's Liberation Square and elsewhere in the country is entirely due to the the intelligence and bravery of the Egyptian people involved in organising and assisting at the demonstrations, but a February 16th article article in the New York Times shows the influence that Gene Sharp has had, over the years, among people who search for nonviolent ways of overthrowing dictatorial regimes. It is titled Shy U.S. Intellectual Created Playbook Used in a Revolution
You can find Sharp's books, including his major work, FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY, freely available, in many languages, at his organization's website
Below are some excerpts from the NY Times article by Sheryl Gay Stolberg.
BOSTON — Halfway around the world from Tahrir Square in Cairo, an aging American intellectual shuffles about his cluttered brick row house in a working-class neighborhood here. His name is Gene Sharp
. Stoop-shouldered and white-haired at 83, he grows orchids, has yet to master the Internet and hardly seems like a dangerous man.
But for the world’s despots, his ideas can be fatal.
Few Americans have heard of Mr. Sharp. But for decades, his practical writings on nonviolent revolution — most notably “From Dictatorship to Democracy
,” a 93-page guide to toppling autocrats, available for download in 24 languages — have inspired dissidents around the world, including in Burma, Bosnia, Estonia and Zimbabwe, and now Tunisia
When Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement
was struggling to recover from a failed effort in 2005, its leaders tossed around “crazy ideas” about bringing down the government, said Ahmed Maher, a leading strategist. They stumbled on Mr. Sharp while examining the Serbian movement Otpor
, which he had influenced.
He has been watching events in Cairo unfold on CNN from his modest house in East Boston, which he bought in 1968 for $150 plus back taxes...
Read the rest of the article on the New York Times website.