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Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir Hardcover – January 17, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0547773988 ISBN-10: 0547773986 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (January 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547773986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547773988
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ghonim launched an anonymous Facebook page in 2010 to protest the death of a man detained by Egyptian security forces. Ghonim’s followers moved from online to street protests and soon joined the massive revolution against the government. He was arrested in 2011 and held and tortured for 12 days before being released and resuming protests that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Ghonim chronicles his journey from Google executive to online revolutionary and the role of the Internet in fomenting and supporting the protests behind the Arab Spring. In high school, he’d stumbled onto the appeal of the Internet and developed a social-network website. He later moved to the U.S. to study computer engineering and was there until the 9/11 attacks made it a difficult place to be a Muslim. Returning to Egypt with his American wife, Ghonim eventually went to work for Google. Ghonim, who has developed a nonprofit organization to support education and technology in Egypt, brings his broad international perspective and knowledge of technology to this fascinating look at the new face of revolution. --Vanessa Bush



A "fast-paced and engrossing new memoir of political awakening...Ghonim’s memoir is a welcome and cleareyed addition to a growing list of volumes that have aimed (but often failed) to meaningfully analyze social media’s impact. It’s a book about social media for people who don’t think they care about social media. It will also serve as a touchstone for future testimonials about a strengthening borderless digital movement that is set to continually disrupt powerful institutions, be they corporate enterprises or political regimes…Ghonim’s writing voice is spare and measured, and marked by the same earnest humility he has displayed in media appearancesHis individual story resonates on two levels: it epitomizes the coming-of-age of a young Middle Eastern generation that has grown up in the digital era, as well as the transformation of an apolitical man from comfortable executive to prominent activist." -- The New York Times Book Review

"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 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

"Deserve[s] to become part of the canon of classic prison literature" -- The Washington Post

"Revolution 2.0
excels in chronicling the roiling tension in the months before the uprising, the careful organization required and the momentum it unleashed. Ghonim … present[s] a manifesto on the capacity of social media to transform a society…Its approach — inherently plural, modern and pragmatic — augurs well for a society on the brink of an uncertain future."

"There's no doubting that his tell-it-like-it-is memoir will be studied by historians for generations to come." -- Bloomberg

More About the Author

Wael Ghonim, a 31 year-old Egyptian, came onto the global scene during the January 25th Revolution in Egypt. Coined the "keyboard freedom fighter," he used the power of the internet and social media to fight for social justice. Ghonim was the anonymous founder of a Facebook page called "Kullena Khaled Said" (We are all Khaled Said) which initiated the first to call for the January 25th Revolution that resulted in the toppling of the 30-year Mubarak regime.

Wael is considered one of the region's digital pioneers - launching many firsts in the tech industry including some of the region's most important websites until he landed at Google. He served as the Regional Marketing Manager for Google in the Middle East and North Africa overseeing 18 countries when the revolution unfolded.

During the revolution, Wael was kidnapped and held in captivity by the Egyptian State Security for 11 days where he was blindfolded and handcuffed. Following a global campaign for his release, Ghonim was freed days before Mubarak stepped down. His emotional TV interview following his release touched millions of Egyptians and inspired more people to take to the streets. He shared his full story as author of Revolution 2.0 - The Power of the People is Greater Than the People in Power which is sold globally in ten languages.

Immediately after the revolution Wael took a sabbatical from Google and became active in Egypt's civil society working on two main initiatives. He founded an NGO called Nabadat (Pulses in Arabic), which aims at fostering education opportunities for Egyptians through technology. Its first project, TahrirAcademy, which offers online educational videos, reached more than half a million Arabs. He also co-founded Masrena (meaning Our Egypt in Arabic), which is a political lobbying group with more than 30k members working towards realizing the goals of the January 25th revolution.

Today, "Kullena Khaled Said" Facebook page remains a key influential voice on the political scene and has 2.3m members actively engaged in Egypt's political transition to democracy. It is the largest political page in the Arab World today.

Wael received his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering from Cairo University and earned an MBA from the American University in Cairo. He is married with two children and resides in Cairo & Dubai. In 2011, Wael was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, was named one of Time 100's most influential and received JFK Profile in Courage Award on behalf of the Egyptian people.

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Customer Reviews

Memoirist, Wael Ghonim, is quite a fellow and his "Revolution 2.0" is quite a book.
John A. Suda
I really enjoyed reading this book, very honest person and wrote down a lot of hidden events that we needed to know about the Egyptian revolution.
The book is very well written and it felt that author has done a very honest job in writing the book.
S. Agrawal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lydia Kagen on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I could not put this down. The amazing thing, the author would describe a certain event, and I could look it up on the Internet and see the actual event on various videos. For example the initial "Silent Stand" protest. The original "We Are Khaled Said" webpages are still online. The book is written like a conversation with a good friend. You are having a beer/coffee with Wael Ghonim, and he is telling you his story. The author makes a complicated event very simple and human, and easy to understand, especially to westerners. Anyone who found themselves even remotely drawn to events in Tahrir will love this book. I have not been this eager to devour a book in long time, I was not disappointed. Thank you, Wael Ghonim.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By William Garrison Jr. VINE VOICE on January 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Revolution 2.0 -- The power of the people is greater than the people in power: A Memoir" by Wael Ghonim (Jan. 2012). 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.Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ahmed M. El-Geneidy on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wael Ghoniem spoke from his heart in this book, you get this feeling in every page of the book. I bought the Kindle version started reading it at 9:00 pm and could not stop reading till I finished it at 4:00 am. Although I am an Egyptian living abroad who knew about many of the events in the book and followed it closely over past year. Yet Wael gives the general aspect of the event and jumps into details behind the scene that not every person knew about the revolution. It gets a little personal about Wael in some cases yet still interesting to understand the personality of this guy, which I see him as a reflection of this generation. Well done Wael.....and thanks for documenting it in such a nice way. In many instances I felt you were expressing my own feelings. May Allah bless you and reward you for the good that you have done and will do through publishing this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Conner VINE VOICE on May 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It's hard to give this book a negative review because I believe the intention of the book (and the movement it chronicles) is so noble. Wael Ghonim is a young Egyptian Google executive who found himself an informal leader of a leaderless revolution, creating space on Facebook for young people to share their opposition to the oppressive regime that controlled Egypt before the revolution of January 25, 2011. Through an online persona as an anonymous administrator, Ghonim helped organize nonviolent demonstrations, and he had a huge influence on the character of the developing movement. This is a story I was fascinated to learn, but Ghonim's gifts as a writer are limited to the point that the book itself is a chore to read. There just isn't much art to the telling, which is a shame. The author certainly tries, with direct quotes of vague but inspiring status updates and Facebook notes, but the narration between the quotes gets bogged down with every little detail of managing a Facebook page, and as I read I longed for a richer literary voice. Ghonim writes as someone familiar with technical writing (it feels very "step one, then step two, then step three," like an instruction manual for your blu-ray player) and is fascinated with the behind-the-scenes details of disguising his location and managing his member lists - which are not topics that are inherently fascinating for those of us who picked up the book for the political/personal aspects of the movement.

I do not intend in any way to demean the events of the revolution or the positive qualities of Ghonim. In a time and place where speaking freely puts your life in danger, Ghonim gets young people to post photos of their protests in internet forums anyone can read, then he humbly refuses to take credit.
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