How can civil disobedience be defined and distinguished from revolution or lawful protest? What, if anything, justifies civil disobedience? Can onviolent civil disobedience ever be effective? The issues surrounding civil disobedience have been discussed since at least 399 BC and, in the wake of such recent events as the protest at Tiananmen Square, are still of great relevance. By presenting classic and current philosophical reflections on the issues, this book presents all the basic materials needed for a philosophical assessment of the nature and justification of civil disobedience. The pieces included range from classic statements by Plato, Thoreau, and Martin Luther King, to essays by leading contemporary thinkers such as Rawls, Raz, and Singer. Hugo Adam Bedau’s introduction sets out the issues and shows how the various authors shed light on each aspect of them. Hugo Adam Bedau is Austin Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University.