Beautiful Trouble



"The current political moment calls for bold leaps of imagination, new forms of organizing and a fearless blend of confrontation and celebration. Beautiful Trouble is a crash course in the emerging field of carnivalesque realpolitik, both elegant and incendiary." —Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and No Logo

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About the Book

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.

Contributors include Rae Abileah, Ryan Acuff, Celia Alario, Phil Aroneanu, Peter Barnes, Jesse Barron, Andy Bichlbaum, Nadine Bloch, Kathryn Blume, L.M. Bogad, Josh Bolotsky, Mike Bonanno, Andrew Boyd, Kevin Buckland, Margaret Campbell, Doyle Canning, Samantha Corbin, Yutaka Dirks, Steve Duncombe, Mark Engler, Simon Enoch, Jodie Evans, John Ewing, Brian Fairbanks, Bryan Farrell, Janice Fine, Lisa Fithian, Cristian Fleming, Elisabeth Ginsberg, Stan Goff, Arun Gupta, Silas Harrebye, Judith Helfand, Daniel Hunter, Sarah Jaffe, John Jordan, Dmytri Kleiner, Sally Kohn, Steve Lambert, Anna Lee, Stephen Lerner, Zack Malitz, Nancy Mancias, Duncan Meisel, Matt Meyer, Dave Oswald Mitchell, Tracey Mitchell, George Monbiot, Brad Newsham, Gaby Pacheco, Mark Read, Patrick Reinsborough, Simon Roel, Joshua Kahn Russell, Leonidas Martin Saura, Levana Saxon, Maxine Schoefer-Wulf, Nathan Schneider, Kristen Ess Schurr, John Sellers, Rajni Shah, Brooke Singer, Matt Skomarovsky, Andrew Slack, Phillip Smith, Jonathan Matthew Smucker, Starhawk, Eric Stoner, Jeremy Varon, Virginia Vitzthum, Harsha Walia, Jefferey Webber and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

Beautiful Trouble puts the accumulated wisdom of decades of creative protest into the hands of the next generation of change-makers.

Publication June 2012 • 474 pages
Paperback ISBN 978-1-935928-57-7 • E-book ISBN 978-1-935928-58-4

About the Editors

Photo © Alison Thomas
Andrew Boyd is an author, humorist and twenty-five-year veteran of creative campaigns for social change. He led the decade-long satirical media campaign “Billionaires for Bush.” He co-founded Agit-Pop Communications, an award-winning “subvertising” agency, and the netroots movement The Other 98%. He’s the author of three books: Daily Afflictions, Life’s Little Deconstruction Book and the creative action manual The Activist Cookbook. You can find him at

Dave Oswald Mitchell is a writer, editor and researcher. He edited the Canadian activist publication Briarpatch Magazine from 2005 to 2010, and his writing has been published in Rabble, Reality Sandwich, Rolling Thunder and Upping the Anti.

In the Media

The Airship, December 10th 2013

Left Forum, April 30th 2013

Fast Company, April 1st 2013

Socialist Unity, December 8th 2012

Huffington Post UK, December 8th 2012

Left Futures, December 8th 2012

The Substantive, December 8th 2012

Red Pepper, December 8th 2012

Philosophy Football, December 8th 2012

New Left Project, October 24th 2012

Morning Star, September 11th 2012

Red Pepper, September 11th 2012

rabble, August 9th 2012

Now Toronto, June 2012

OpEd News, May 18th 2012

Fast Company, April 16th 2012

Firedoglake, April 11th 2012

The Brooklyn Paper, March 28th 2012

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