Noble Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp is a kindly, orchid-growing octogenarian who literally wrote the book on non-violent overthrow of dictatorships. Jailed for nine months in 1953 for protesting the Korean War draft, Sharp went on to write The Politics of Nonviolent Action and twelve other books, including the seminal From Dictatorship to Democracy, a 93-page document that lays out 198 steps to toppling dictators. Available for free download in 40 languages, From Dictatorship to Democracy was written in 1993 to aid the Burmese freedom movement.

How to Start a Revolution delves into Sharp’s influence, from Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Burma, Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan through Egypt and Syria.