Civil disobedience, and its close cousin, civil resistance, has existed for centuries, maybe longer. The recent Gene Sharp article in the New York Times (2/17/11) had a long list of related links for further research, including a link to his Albert Einstein Institution and his e-book, “From Dictatorship to Democracy.”
We all know the most visible of the nineteenth and twentieth century peace-makers, Thoreau, Gandhi, King, but there are dozens, hundreds, thousands of others, some of whom have won Nobel Peace Prizes (as Gene Sharp may very well do next year) and most who have not.
Clarence Jones, lawyer to Martin Luther King, wrote his own book recently about a peacemaker and it is a wonderful read. It is a deeply moving account of a missing piece of our recent history: “Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation.”