Synopses & Reviews
“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
"Ghonim's name made headlines in early 2011 when, during the Egyptian revolution, the 30-year-old Google executive was abducted by Egypt's State Security and detained for eleven days. Ghonim's role in the revolution began well before that. Ghonim narrates his own story in this clear, matter-of-fact book, beginning with his days as an idealistic young man most comfortable online. Even after he marries, finishes graduate school, and is hired by Google, Ghonim retains a youthful romantic passion for social change; he explains that after seeing the movie V for Vendetta, he had 'fallen in love with the idea of the mysterious warrior fighting against evil.' This is exactly the role Ghonim takes when he begins agitating for change in Egypt anonymously, but online. The engagement of the online community gives him confidence (the Facebook page he creates in honor of a young Egyptian killed by the police quickly gains 300,000 users), and recognizing 'the possible connection between the virtual world and physical reality,' Ghonim begins organizing protests. The movement soon takes on a life of its own. Then, in the midst of Egypt's youth uprising, Ghonim is arrested and held in secrecy. This is a bold, moving story of the interconnectedness of the modern world, and the hope, courage, and fearlessness it takes to start a revolution. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A "fast-paced and engrossing new memoir of political awakening...Ghonims memoir is a welcome and cleareyed addition to a growing list of volumes that have aimed (but often failed) to meaningfully analyze social medias impact. Its a book about social media for people who dont 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…Ghonims writing voice is spare and measured, and marked by the same earnest humility he has displayed in media appearances…His 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...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 "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." --NPR.org "There's no doubting that his tell-it-like-it-is memoir will be studied by historians for generations to come." -- Bloomberg
The revolutions sweeping the Middle East in 2011 were unlike any the world had ever seen. Brutal regimes that had been in power for many decades were suddenly swarmed by unstoppable mobs of freedom-seekers. Now, one of the key figures behind the Egyptian uprising tells the riveting inside story of what happened and presents lessons for all of us on how to unleash the power of crowds.
Wael Ghonim was a little-known 30-year-old Google executive in the fall of 2010 when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. The pages followers expanded quickly and moved from online protests to non-confrontational public gatherings. Then, on January 14, 2011, they made history when they announced a revolution. Over 350,000 friends clamored to join. On January 25, as the revolution began in earnest, Ghonim was captured and held for twelve days of brutal interrogation—and when he emerged and gave a speech on national television, the protests grew even more intense. Four days later, Mubarak was gone.
The lessons Ghonim draws will inspire each of us: Forget the past. Dont plan ahead. Let the crowd make its own decisions. Welcome to Revolution 2.0.
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 pages 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, Cairos 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.
A narrative of the revolution in Egypt, followed by lessons that can be applied to any revolution, anywhere.
[“People, we became 300…” fb post]
In Egypt during the summer of 2010, a Facebook page managed by Wael Ghonim became the unlikely gathering place for a nascent protest movement. Just six months later, speaking with the voices of its more than 350,000 members, that Facebook page would broadcast the first call for a January 25 uprising — a revolution against injustice, unemployment, corruption, and torture.
[“Today is the 14th…” fb post]
Revolution 2.0 tells the story of Ghonims journey from passive opposition to the revolutionary vanguard. From his keyboard to his jail cell, from his solitary Facebook posting to the emotional television interview that would touch millions of Egyptians, Ghonims story is an essential document and a call to arms.
FORGET THE PAST • LIVE IN THE MOMENT • LET THE CROWD MAKE ITS OWN DECISIONS
WELCOME TO REVOLUTION 2.0
Wael Ghonim was a little-known, 30-year-old Google executive in the fall of 2010, when he anonymously launched a Facebook page to protest the death of one Egyptian man at the hands of security forces. In Revolution 2.0 this key figure behind the Egyptian uprising tells the inside, riveting story of what happened, and presents lessons for all of us on how to unleash the power of crowds.
About the Author
Wael Ghonim was born in Cairo and grew up in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, earning a degree 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.
Table of Contents
1. A Regime of Fear 1
2. Searching for a Savior 28
3. Kullena Khaled Said 58
4. Online and on the Streets 82
5. A Preannounced Revolution 122
6. January 25, 2011 161
7. My Name Is 41 188
8. The Dungeon 218
9. A Pharaoh Falls 249