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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, profound, inspirational and exciting
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...
Published on January 22, 2012 by Lydia Kagen

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Powerful subject, should have hired a ghostwriter
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...
Published on May 2, 2012 by Kurt Conner


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, profound, inspirational and exciting, January 22, 2012
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Egypt Arab Spring Ghonim's Facebook Revolution 2011, January 2, 2012
By 
William Garrison Jr. (Bellevue, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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"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. 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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, January 22, 2012
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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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How smart use of social media sparked a revolution, April 22, 2012
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This is a very good, first person account of how Google employee Wael Ghonim accidentally became a revolutionary. Ghonim was a family man with more knowledge than most about technology, who lived in Cairo and worked for Google. Like many other citizens of Egypt, Ghonim was proud of his heritage and his country, but not so proud of its government under Hosni Mubarak.

The main problem cited by Ghonim and others seems to have been that the secret police had run truly amok. Although the citizenry tolerated Mubarak's 30-year dictatorship for a very long time, eventually people ran out of patience as the secret police became increasingly corrupt and disruptive to the lives of average Egyptians who were no threat to the state. (Congress and Homeland Security, take notice.)

The trigger event was the murder of a young man named Khaled Said, who was beaten to death in Alexandria by two secret police agents. Ghonim saw news of the death online and, in spite of fears for the safety of himself and his family, created a Facebook page to protest what he calls "a grave injustice." The popularity of the page snowballed and eventually Ghonim and a handful of others succeeded in taking the popular outrage off line and into the streets.

I do not think it is incidental that one can draw comparisons between Ghonim's story and the recent story of Trayvon Martin, whose alleged killer was not arrested until there was an overwhelming groundswell of popular demand for it via social media. It is true that the Martin case was aided and abetted by traditional, corporate media, which did not happen in Egypt. And it is also true that the US is not Egypt. I am not saying that I believe the Martin case will spark a revolution in the US. But there is no escaping that the Martin case would have played out differently if average people did not have an avenue of protest such as that provided by Twitter and Facebook. I wonder if these social networks are today's equivalent of pamphlets such as Common Sense, which played a major role in the American Revolution.

Revolution 2.0 is an easy read about a difficult question and that is, "How exactly did a few men start a revolution using social media?" I think the answer is that the Egyptian people were at the breaking point and had already been energized by the revolution, of sorts, in Tunisia. Facebook was a tool, smartly used, to mobilize a population that was ready to roll.

Ghonim's telling of the tale sheds some light on why and how it all happened, but there is much more to be studied and learned about how social media and political action are entwined. This book will, I believe, motivate inquiry and research that promises fascinating and sobering results.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground Zero for the Egypt Spring, January 26, 2012
By 
Joseph J. Slevin (Carlsbad, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This is a rare glimps into the foundation of the revolution that changed Egypt. Debunking most of the theories without even referring to them, Wael Ghonim talks about how he developed a FaceBook page that helped to communicate a reaction to the brutalities of the last regime.

Ghonim talks about the history of Egypt, the corrupt practices and how one instance of extreme brutality motivated him to use his understanding of the internet and social media to influence a generation of Egyptians to rise up against those practices.

Using examples from Ghandi and others who approached things in a peaceful, they took the opportunity of the January 25th celebration of the police to motivate thousands to stand up.

We see how little is mentioned of the mass congealing of the Arab speaking/Muslim world into one large block. This heralds the motivation and celebration of freedom.

A must read for our generation, Revolution 2.0, tells a tale of what can happen when people take a chance at freedom.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book - a must read, January 21, 2012
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This book is a must read. Written by Wael Ghoneim, it goes into the heart and mind of one of the critical forces behind the movement of the Egyptian people. The book takes you through the political scene in Egypt through the eyes of a young activist who shares his dreams, his fears, and his aspirations. Reading the book, especially for those who lived the events but did not have a full picture of the situation or the actions behind the scenes, you feel like you are riding a roller coaster of emotions, as if you are on the brink of a volcano expecting it to erupt at any moment. you know what is coming, yet you hold your breath as if afraid that things will not turn out as you know they will.
For a full understanding of the Egyptian revolution and the events preceding and leading up to it... read this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Powerful subject, should have hired a ghostwriter, May 2, 2012
By 
Kurt Conner (South Hadley, MA USA) - See all my reviews
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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. In the face of activists who want change through violence, Ghonim insists on a peaceful alternative that can achieve the same goals in a way that both satisfies Egyptians and appeals to an international community. And, when given the impossible task of writing a memoir in time for the one-year anniversary of the revolution, Ghonim puts together a book full of good information. I just wish that a more experienced writer had come alongside Ghonim to present this important story in a more engaging way.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Many Reasons and Tastes!, January 8, 2012
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Riveting, interesting and fascinating - I was intrigued about reading this book as I wanted to understand how the author could start a successful revolution with a facebook page without even completely intending to do so. This personal documentary begins with a riveting setup that made me feel like I was reading a scene from a thriller movie like Quantum of Solace. I was riveted. And though it was repetitious, owing at least partly by the author's own admission that he felt pressured to produce the book, it is well-reported from a journalistic standpoint. The book is good, enlightening reading!Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Engaging, Amazing, February 11, 2012
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Written for the first anniversary of the revolution that removed Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt, this powerful memoir gives one insider's view of what really happened. That insider was Wael Ghonim, who never thought of himself as a political leader of any kind. Most of what he did to energize the popular uprising was done anonymously through facebook. He harnessed the power of the internet to spread information, pictures, encouragement and incitement. The results far outpaced his intentions and expectations--a people-power revolution without charismatic leaders, with almost no leadership structure at all--what he sees as a new type of revolution.

Author Ghonim doesn't theorize much, and doesn't attempt to be neutral or balanced. He writes in a heartfelt, highly personal way that draws the reader in and never lets go. I actually couldn't put this book down and finished it from one day to the next. It brought events vividly to life that I had read about or watched on TV. The book is packed with fascinating detail about what happened, and the author's personal involvement. This book isn't--doesn't pretend to be--the whole story. Still, it's an amazing introduction.

What the book can't do, of course, is tell what happened afterward, after the initial heady days of the revolution. I'm waiting for the sequel.

If you have any interest at all in the Middle East and its recent upheavals, this is a must-read book. I recommend it highly. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crowdsourcing Revolution, March 27, 2012
Revolution 2.0 is the story of how a Facebook page, "We are all Khaled Saeed", played a pivotal role in Egypt's 2011 democratic revolution. The author and dramatis persona Wael Ghonim, a Google engineer turned activist, is a unique man, and his honesty and humility is refreshing and unusual in the ego and hyperbole-driven social media field.

The book starts off slowly but builds well. Revolution 2.0 is primary evidence that social media can be an empowering, democratic tool, and as such is an antidote or counterpoint to such recent works as Evgeny Morozov's The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom.

Some particular pros worth mentioning:

- Wael Ghonim's account of his brief incarceration by Egyptian State Security forces is riveting

- The observation that friends and communications channels are more important than plans is well-founded

All internet activists should read this book, not only for the inspiration but for the practical advice on running an SM campaign, and the descriptions of the challenges Ghonim faced - like FB taking down the page for violating admin guidelines.

Revolution 2.0 documents the first, wonderful step on what will be a long, difficult road to a hopefully better future for the Egyptian people.
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Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir
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