May 8, 2020

We Are Power Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to the We Are Power Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of We Are Power by Todd Hasak-Lowy, blogs across the web are featuring original content from Todd and profiles of key figures in social activism history from We Are Power, as well as 5 chances to win a finished copy!

A stirring look at nonviolent activism, from American suffragists to Civil Rights to the Climate Change Movement

We Are Power brings to light the incredible individuals who have used nonviolent activism to change the world. The book explores questions such as what is nonviolent resistance and how does it work? In an age when armies are stronger than ever before, when guns seem to be everywhere, how can people confront their adversaries without resorting to violence themselves? Through key international movements as well as people such as Gandhi, Alice Paul, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Václav Havel, this book discusses the components of nonviolent resistance. It answers the question “Why nonviolence?” by showing how nonviolent movements have succeeded again and again in a variety of ways, in all sorts of places, and always in the face of overwhelming odds. The book includes endnotes, a bibliography, and an index.


★ "Hasak-Lowy's writing gives life to both the people and issues involved, taking time to explain historical backgrounds and the ways the lessons from one movement affected future ones.” 

★ "Highly recommended for its outstanding treatment of the history of social justice. A good resource for student activists.” 
School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

★ "There has never been a time when a book is more relevant than this one.” 
School Library Connection, STARRED REVIEW

Václav Havel and "The Power of the Powerless"
by Todd Hasak-Lowy

A common misconception about nonviolent resistance is that it only works in "enlightened," democratic societies.  But, in fact, nonviolent movements helped topple communism across Central and Eastern Europe.  This snippet from my book explains how playwright and future president of Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel, inspired his people to "live the truth" in order to steadily weaken an authoritarian regime from the inside out.

Like so many great nonviolent leaders before and after him, Havel understood how power truly operates. Power isn’t, as we often believe, something only the powerful possess, a tool they use to control those below them, the powerless. No, power is actually a particular kind of relationship. The powerful demand obedience and the powerless comply: they do what is expected of them. But if the so-called powerless refuse to obey, the powerful are no different from anyone else. 

Hence the title of Havel’s essay: “The Power of the Powerless.” 

Of course, things aren’t quite that simple. The powerful often have tools of other sorts, like laws, policemen,  and prisons, tools that strongly encourage the power- less to do what they’re told, tools the powerful can use to make the powerless suffer if they challenge their role in the relationship. Despite this, it’s always possible to choose not to obey, and to choose to suffer the consequences instead. 

The things one had to obey and the consequences one would suffer for refusing to obey in Czechoslovakia were nearly endless in the late 1970s. But this was in fact the weakness of the country’s totalitarian system: It sought complete control of everything. Everything. Not just how people acted politically, but what they said and even thought in areas that seemed to have nothing to do with politics at all. The music they listened to, the books they read, the subjects they discussed with their friends. 

So, Havel argued, resistance needed to begin in those places, where people could choose to live the truth. People had to use the power they did have to carve out little areas of freedom for themselves, in their minds, in their interactions with people in their communities, in the small acts of everyday life.

Blog Tour Schedule:

May 4th - The Fandom
May 5th - Big Shiny Robot
May 6th - BookHoundsYA
May 7th - Mundie Moms
Todd Hasak-Lowy is the author of several books for young readers. He is a professor of creative writing and literature at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Hasak-Lowy lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife and two daughters. Visit

  • (1) winner will receive a finished copy of We Are Power. Check out the other tour stops for more chances to win.
  • US/Canada only
  • Ends 11:59pm ET on 5/16
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Malala Yousafzai because of her work for girls' education.

  2. Martin Luther King Jr. I wonder how much more he would have changed the world if he had lived longer.