Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power: A Memoir

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“A gripping chronicle of how a fear-frozen society finally topples its oppressors with the help of social media.” — San Francisco Chronicle

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. On January 25, 2011, 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.

In this riveting story, Ghonim takes us inside the movement and shares the keys to unleashing the power of crowds. In Revolution 2.0, we can all be heroes.

Revolution 2.0 is an engaging read, and it offers a sharply detailed look from the inside of an uprising that owed almost as much to social media connections as it did to anti-Mubarak passions.” — Los Angeles Times

Revolution 2.0 excels in chronicling the roiling tension in the months before the uprising, the careful organization required and the momentum it unleashed.” — NPR.org
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About the author

Wael Ghonim was born in Cairo and grew up in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, earning a degree in computer engineering from Cairo University in 2004 and an MBA from the American University in Cairo in 2007.  He joined Google in 2008, rising to become Head of Marketing for Google Middle East and North Africa.  He is currently on sabbatical from Google to launch an NGO supporting education and technology in Egypt.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Published on
Jan 17, 2012
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780547774046
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Web 2.0 has become the buzz word for describing social media available on the Internet, such as blogs, photo and file sharing systems and social networking sites. These Web 2.0 applications are rapidly transforming citizen-citizen and citizen-government interactions in a manner not seen before. In recognition of these trends, governments are already taking a very close look at Web 2.0 and online communities in order to leverage them for designing products and services and for providing citizen services. This book brings together international scholars to provide the theoretical and practical contexts for understanding the nature of Web 2.0 technologies and their impact on political, public policy and management processes, and to explore how best Web 2.0 applications can be leveraged and aligned with the strategic goals of government organizations to add value and ensure effective governance. Drawing from experiences from countries around the globe, the book provides the theoretical context of the potential for Web 2.0 applications to transform government services, as well as practical examples of leading public sector institutions that have attempted to use Web 2.0 applications to enhance government operations, policy making and administration. There are three parts to the book, namely 1) Perspectives on Web 2.0 and Democratic Governance, 2) The Political, Policy and Management Impacts of Web 2.0 in Government, and 3) Leveraging Web 2.0 Applications for Effective Governance. This book differs from existing edited books on Web 2.0 technologies that focus primarily on politics and e-democracy because it examines the impact of the applications on politics, policy and public management. The book contributes toward the literature by filling the existing void and expanding knowledge in the field of public administration and policy, making it of interest to both academics and policy-makers.
Barely a year after the self-immolation of a young fruit seller in Tunisia, a vast wave of popular protest has convulsed the Middle East, overthrowing long-ruling dictators and transforming the region’s politics almost beyond recognition. But the biggest transformations of what has been labeled as the “Arab Spring” are yet to come.

An insider to both American policy and the world of the Arab public, Marc Lynch shows that the fall of particular leaders is but the least of the changes that will emerge from months of unrest. The far-ranging implications of the rise of an interconnected and newly-empowered Arab populace have only begun to be felt. Young, frustrated Arabs now know that protest can work and that change is possible. They have lost their fear—meanwhile their leaders, desperate to survive, have heard the unprecedented message that killing their own people will no longer keep them in power. Even so, as Lynch reminds us, the last wave of region-wide protest in the 1950s and 1960s resulted not in democracy, but in brutal autocracy. Will the Arab world’s struggle for change succeed in building open societies? Will authoritarian regimes regain their grip, or will Islamist movements seize the initiative to impose a new kind of rule?

The Arab Uprising follows these struggles from Tunisia and Egypt to the harsh battles of Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and Libya and to the cautious reforms of the region’s monarchies. It examines the real meaning of the rise of Islamist movements in the emerging democracies, and the longterm hopes of a generation of activists confronted with the limits of their power. It points toward a striking change in the hierarchy of influence, as the old heavyweights—Iran, Al Qaeda, even Israel—have been all but left out while oil-rich powers like Saudi Arabia and “swing states” like Turkey and Qatar find new opportunities to spread their influence. And it reveals how America must adjust to the new realities.

Deeply informed by inside access to the Obama administration’s decision-making process and first-hand interviews with protestors, politicians, diplomats, and journalists, The Arab Uprising highlights the new fault lines that are forming between forces of revolution and counter-revolution, and shows what it all means for the future of American policy. The result is an indispensible guide to the changing lay of the land in the Middle East and North Africa.

In July 2004, Barack Obama electrified the Democratic National Convention with an address that spoke to Americans across the political spectrum. One phrase in particular anchored itself in listeners’ minds, a reminder that for all the discord and struggle to be found in our history as a nation, we have always been guided by a dogged optimism in the future, or what Obama called “the audacity of hope.”

The Audacity of Hope is Barack Obama’s call for a different brand of politics—a politics for those weary of bitter partisanship and alienated by the “endless clash of armies” we see in congress and on the campaign trail; a politics rooted in the faith, inclusiveness, and nobility of spirit at the heart of “our improbable experiment in democracy.” He explores those forces—from the fear of losing to the perpetual need to raise money to the power of the media—that can stifle even the best-intentioned politician. He also writes, with surprising intimacy and self-deprecating humor, about settling in as a senator, seeking to balance the demands of public service and family life, and his own deepening religious commitment.

At the heart of this book is Barack Obama’s vision of how we can move beyond our divisions to tackle concrete problems. He examines the growing economic insecurity of American families, the racial and religious tensions within the body politic, and the transnational threats—from terrorism to pandemic—that gather beyond our shores. And he grapples with the role that faith plays in a democracy—where it is vital and where it must never intrude. Underlying his stories about family, friends, and members of the Senate is a vigorous search for connection: the foundation for a radically hopeful political consensus.

A public servant and a lawyer, a professor and a father, a Christian and a skeptic, and above all a student of history and human nature, Barack Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to our Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans. Those Americans are out there, he writes—“waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”
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