Beautiful Trouble

Beautiful Trouble

A Toolbox for Revolution

Edited by Andrew Boyd and Dave Mitchell


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From Cairo to cyberspace, from Main Street to Wall Street, today’s social movements have a creative new edge that’s blurring the boundaries between artist and activist, hacker and dreamer. But the principles that make for successful creative action rarely get hashed out or written down. Until now.

Beautiful Trouble brings together ten grassroots groups and dozens of seasoned artists and activists from around the world to distill their best practices into a toolbox for creative action. Among the groups included are Agit-Pop/The Other 98%, The Yes Men/Yes Labs, Code Pink, SmartMeme, The Ruckus Society, Beyond the Choir, The Center for Artistic Activism, Waging Nonviolence, Alliance of Community Trainers and Nonviolence International.

Sophisticated enough for veteran activists, accessible enough for newbies, Beautiful Trouble showcases the synergies between artistic imagination and shrewd political strategy.

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An endlessly fascinating and unique guide to actually fighting to win.

– Murray Dobbin,

Beautiful Trouble can be highly recommended as a useful and impressive compendium of decades of distilled practical knowledge.

– red pepper

An encyclopedia for creative activism.

– Vancouver Media co-op

An informative and inspiring how-to handbook of direct, confrontational social activism.

– geez

Presents creative ways of drawing attention to injustice

– The Compulsive Reader

Anyone who is interested in passionate, exciting, inspiring social movements should have a look.

– Inter Pares

Should be required reading in every classroom.

– Judith Molina, founder of the Living Theater

A crash course in the emerging field of carnivalesque real politik, both elegant and incendiary.

– Naomi Klein


Andrew Boyd and Dave Oswald Mitchell
Section One Tactics
Section Two Principles
Section Three Theories
Section Four Case Studies
Section Five Practitioners
Contributor Bios
Participating Organizations