When to Talk and When to Fight
The Strategic Choice Between Dialogue and Resistance
By Rebecca Subar
When to Talk and When to Fight is a conversation between talkers and fighters. It introduces a new language to enable negotiators and activists to argue and collaborate across different schools of thought and action. Weaving beautiful storytelling and clear analysis, this book maps the habits of change-makers, explaining why some groups choose dialogue and negotiation while others practice confrontation and resistance. Why do some groups seemingly always take an antagonistic approach, challenging authority and in some cases trying to tear down our systems and institutions? Why are other groups reluctant to raise their voices or take a stand, limiting themselves to conciliatory strategies? And why do some of us ask only the first question, while others ask only the second?
Threaded among examples of conflict, struggle, and change in organizations, communities, and society is the compelling personal story that led Subar to her community of practice at Dragonfly, advising leaders in social justice organizations on organizational and advocacy strategy. With lucid charts and graphs by Rosi Greenberg, When to Talk and When to Fight is a brilliant new way of talking about how we change the world. In his foreword, Douglas Stone, coauthor of the international best-seller Difficult Conversations, makes the case that negotiators need this language. In a separate foreword, Esteban Kelly, cofounder of AORTA Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance, explains why radicals and progressives need it. If you are a change-maker, you will soon find yourself speaking this language. Be one of the first to learn it. Read this book.
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