In this well-crafted introductory guide, subtitled ""A Look at Nonviolent Action and Defense,"" Terkel (Colonial American Medicine, 1993, etc.) takes on the loaded issue of ""people power,"" or nonviolent protest. She examines each of the component parts of nonviolent action in a sober manner, maintaining a sympathetic, scholarly tone. Readers learn that through psychological, social, economic, and political means, advocates throughout history have improved the rights of women, migrant workers, gays, and the physically challenged, enduring hardship without drawing the blood of their opponents. This mature examination leaves no vision of love beads glittering before readers' eyes. Terkel is careful to stress that while high-flying ideals may anchor protest actions or sanctions, activists must measure their strategy and timing carefully, lest they fail because of too little press coverage, bad timing, or excessive zeal. While the author may be a bit liberal in her use of the quotations of famous pacifists, she wrestles with questions--e.g., where does civil disobedience end and terrorism begin?--that provide readers with plenty to think about. The book is easy to understand but not simplistic; straightforward without being cynical; informative and, yes, inspiring.