Power and Love (Paperback)

A Theory and Practice of Social Change

By Adam Kahane

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 9781605093048, 172pp.

Publication Date: January 4, 2010

List Price: 17.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The two methods most frequently employed to solve our toughest social problems--either relying on violence and aggression or submitting to endless negotiation and compromise--are fundamentally flawed. This is because the seemingly contradictory drives behind these approaches--power, the desire to achieve one's purpose, and love, the urge to unite with others--are actually complementary. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it, "Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic." But how do you combine them?

For the last twenty years Adam Kahane of Reos Partners and the University of Oxford has worked around the world on many tough and vital challenges: food security, health care, economic development, judicial reform, peacemaking, climate change. In this extraordinary book he draws on this experience to delve deeply into the dual natures of both power and love, exploring their subtle and intricate interplay. With disarming honesty Kahane relates how, through trial and error, he has learned to balance them and offers practical guidance for how others can learn that balance as well.

About the Author

Adam Kahane is a partner in Reos Partners, an international organization dedicated to supporting and building capacity for innovative collective action in complex social systems.