Phillip Smith

For immediate release: Beautiful Trouble: A "how-to-think" manual for 21st century activism

This is likely to turn out to be one of the most important projects that I had the opportunity to work on in 2011, and that I will continue work on through 2012.

It’s hard to believe that this project is now a reality, or that it all started as quite a casual conversation with Andrew back in September 2010. Seeing my name in a list of contributors that includes people like George Mombiot and Starhawk is also kinda’ mind-blowing. The work that Andrew and Dave – and more than sixty other amazing contributors – have put into this project is nothing less than awe inspiring.

The release is below. Please circulate widely!

P.S. There is 20% off pre-orders for the physical book, e-book, or both until January 30, 2012.</i>

Publishing April 1, 2012
A Toolbox for Revolution

A “how-to-think” manual for 21st century activism
Prank websites. Militant carnivals. Flash Mobs. Virtual sit-ins. Guerrilla musicals.

From Cairo to cyberspace, from Main Street to Wall Street, today’s social movements have a creative new edge. Social activism in the digital age is melding prank and PR; blurring the boundaries between artist and activist, direct action protest and pop art. These principles that make for successful creative action are more common today than we realize–yesterday’s Wikipedia blackout in protest of #SOPA is one of many prominent examples–but their foundations rarely get hashed out or written down.

Until now. In the irreverent, activist tradition of Steal This Book and The Anarchist Cookbook comes Beautiful Trouble, out April 1, 2012 from OR Books.

In Beautiful Trouble, seasoned pranktivist Andrew Boyd assembles the accumulated wisdom of decades of creative protest in order to place it in the hands of the next generation of change-makers. Part manifesto and part reference guide, Beautiful Trouble is the anti-textbook–a dynamic, 21st century how-to that brings together ten grassroots groups and dozens of seasoned artists and activists from around the world. Among the groups included are Agit-Pop/The Other 98%, The Yes Men/Yes Labs, Code Pink, SmartMeme, The Ruckus Society, Beyond the Choir, The Center for Artistic Activism, Waging Nonviolence, Alliance of Community Trainers and Nonviolence International.

Beautiful Trouble is not another how-to manual; it’s a how-to-think manual. In the shadow of austerity and ecological crisis, the urgency of this political moment demands resources that will transform outrage into effective action. Click here for a look inside.

Andrew Boyd is an author, humorist and twenty-five-year veteran of creative campaigns for social change. He led the decade-long satirical media campaign “Billionaires for Bush.” He co-founded Agit-Pop Communications, an award-winning “subvertising” agency, and the netroots movement The Other 98%. He’s the author of three books: Daily Afflictions, Life’s Little Deconstruction Book and the creative action manual The Activist Cookbook. You can find him at

Dave Oswald Mitchell is a writer, editor and researcher. He edited the Canadian activist publication Briarpatch Magazine from 2005 to 2010, and his writing has been published in Rabble, Reality Sandwich, Rolling Thunder and Upping the Anti.

Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution, Assembled by Andrew Boyd
Publication date: April 1, 2012
Paperback, $25, 978-1-935928-57-7
E-book, $10, 978-1-935928-58-4
400 pages

For more information, or an interview with the author, contact Fern Diaz at or (212) 514-6485.


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


Want to launch a local news business? Apply now for the journalism entrepreneurship boot camp

I’m excited to announce that applications are now open again for the journalism entrepreneurship boot camp. And I’m even more excited to ...… Continue reading