When to Talk and When to Fight: The Strategic Choice between Dialogue and Resistance - Book

When to Talk and When to Fight: The Strategic Choice between Dialogue and Resistance - Book

PM Press
Regular price $ 20.00 $ 0.00 Unit price per
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.


“Rebecca Subar’s rich personal background and distinguished career advising political negotiators, organization-builders, and movement strategists have positioned her as one of the world’s leading voices on conflict management. Here Subar combines profound insights from both practitioners and theoreticians, offering her readers invaluable paradigms on conflict transformation. When to Talk and When to Fight is the book many of us having been waiting for!”
—Sa’ed Atshan, assistant professor of peace and conflict studies, Swarthmore College

“This is an emotionally and intellectually engaging masterpiece about lovers and fighters. It makes clear that the defining connection between talking and fighting is that the fight for policy change and passionate dialogue must both exist to change a narrative of trauma and injustice. This is a must-read.”
—Shawanna Vaughn, antiviolence and criminal justice activist with Silent Cry Inc.

“When to Talk and When to Fight brilliantly bridges the worlds of bargaining-table negotiation and social movement power building. Rebecca Subar creates an original framework for understanding why the two approaches are often in tension with one another and how—when coordinated skillfully—they can be used together. A writer who is both a ‘peacemaker and provocateur,’ Subar fills her book with illuminating stories and narrates with a wonderfully engaging personal voice, making the reading at once absorbing and enlightening.”
—Mark Engler, coauthor of This Is an Uprising

Share this Product