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Revolution 2.0:The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power:Egypt revolt hero memoir

 
 
Reply Fri 17 Feb, 2012 10:37 am
Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir
by Wael Ghonim

Book Description
Publication Date: January 17, 2012

The revolutions that swept the Middle East in 2011 surprised and captivated the world. Brutal regimes that had been in power for decades were overturned by an irrepressible mass of freedom seekers. Now, one of the figures who emerged during the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and shares the keys to unleashing the power of crowds.

Wael Ghonim was a little-known, thirty-year-old Google executive in the summer of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The page’s following expanded quickly and moved from online protests to a nonconfrontational movement.

The youth of Egypt made history: they used social media to schedule a revolution. The call went out to more than a million Egyptians online, and on January 25, 2011, Cairo’s Tahrir Square resounded with calls for change. Yet just as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for twelve days of brutal interrogation. After he was released, he gave a tearful speech on national television, and the protests grew more intense. Four days later, the president of Egypt was gone.

The lessons Ghonim draws will inspire each of us. He saw the road to Tahrir Square built not by any one person, but by the people. In Revolution 2.0, we can all be heroes.

Editorial Reviews

"A remarkable personal testament that will be cited by future historians of both Facebook and the Arab Spring." -- Kirkus

"Ghonim...brings his broad international perspective and knowledge of technology to this fascinating look at the new face of revolution." -- Booklist

"Revolution 2.0...is likely to be required reading for web geeks, media experts, political scientists, advertising executives, activists, anarchists, confidence men, secret policemen, dictators and corporate strategists." --

The Telegraph (UK) "An articulate account of the author's middle-class upbringing under a draconian regime, and a gripping chronicle of how a fear-frozen society finally topples its oppressors with the help of social media...That the translation reads so smoothly in English is a linguistic feat...It helps that Ghonim is a methodical thinker whose plain and logical approach evokes a thoughtful rather than radical response. He deftly renders the details of his conversations with interrogators and willingly describes personal scenes...A final suspenseful chronicle of how government officials attempted to brainwash and dupe him after his release from prison will be eye-opening for anyone who wonders about the distorted mind-set of Egypt's leaders....It's not surprising that Ghonim's commitment to the cause affected his relationship with his wife and children; it reminds one of our own historical revolutionaries - John and Abigail Adams come to mind - who required a certain obsessive determination that may seem irresponsible to those who live in a democracy." -- The San Francisco Chronicle

"Ghonim doesn't overreach in this deeply personal account. His words ring with an authentic tone...Ghonim avoids sweeping generalizations during those heady and tumultuous days." -- The Los Angeles Times "

A fascinating book...There is an energy in the book and in Ghonim's words that makes one feel it is much too soon to assume the revolution is over, or to underestimate what the rebels achieved." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer

From the Inside Flap

The revolutions that swept the Middle East in 2011 surprised and captivated the world. Brutal regimes that had been in power for decades were overturned by an irrepressible mass of freedom seekers. Now, one of the figures who emerged during the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and shares the keys to unleashing the power of crowds.

Wael Ghonim was a little-known, thirty-year-old Google executive in the summer of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The page’s following expanded quickly and moved from online protests to a nonconfrontational movement.

The youth of Egypt made history: they used social media to schedule a revolution. The call went out to more than a million Egyptians online, and on January 25, 2011, Cairo’s Tahrir Square resounded with calls for change. Yet just as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for twelve days of brutal interrogation. After he was released, he gave a tearful speech on national television, and the protests grew more intense. Four days later, the president of Egypt was gone.

The lessons Ghonim draws will inspire each of us. He saw the road to Tahrir Square built not by any one person, but by the people. In Revolution 2.0, we can all be heroes.

Reader Review:

January 2, 2012
By William Garrison Jr. (Bellevue, WA United States)

The author was a `Google' website executive who `launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of [Egyptian] security forces. His on-line advocacy against Pres. Mubarak's autocratic regime significantly assisted in mobilizing Egyptian youths in driving Mubarak from power. As the author relates in this fast-paced, suspenseful book, he was arrested several times by Egyptian security forces in attempt to coerce him into revealing the names of other protestors and how his internet pro-democracy movement operated. The author noted how, before his arrests, that he coordinated with other website friends and told them how they could change his website passwords if they suspected that he had been arrested, and thereby, foil state security agencies from hacking into his website accounts and learning the names of other pro-democracy advocates.

The author details how he was able to use Facebook to coordinate pro-democracy street rallies and share pro-democracy (and anti-authoritarian) tactics with other protestors in other despotic Arab countries. The author circulated (and reprinted in this book) `Protesting Guidelines', `Time and Place of Protests', & `Chants' info online in organizing protests (p. 167-168). The author reprinted numerous emails that he shared with fellow pro-democracy agitators, whether they were fellow Muslims, or even Christians, who shared dreams for political democracy.

This book ends with the fall of Pres. Mubarak. There is no discussion of the potential impact of pro-sharia Muslim Brotherhood should this fundamentalist group (or other groups) achieve political power in late 2011. It remains to be seen whether or not the author's dreams for `democracy' are to be shattered in early 2012, if anti-secular and anti-democratic forces take over the Egyptian government. A MUST READ ! ! The author, Wael Ghonim, a courageous proponent for democracy in a historically undemocratic region -- hopefully he will survive future political unrest.
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