REVOLUTION 2.0

THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE IS GREATER THAN THE PEOPLE IN POWER: A MEMOIR

A demonstration of the power of social networking by a Google engineer named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2011.

As the head of marketing for Google Middle East and North Africa, Ghonim was so outraged by the State Security's beating to death of a young Egyptian named Khaled Mohamed Said that he created the Facebook page Kolona Khaled Said (“We Are All Khaled Said”). The website helped sparked the revolution ending Hosni Mubarak's presidency. Here, in sometimes hour-by-hour detail and with ample and extensive quotes from Facebook, the author recounts the events from its appearance in June 2010 to February 2011, when Mubarak stepped down. He also documents his own transformation from passive critic of the Mubarak regime to motivated activist whose "computer keyboard had become a machine gun, firing bullets with every keystroke.” The response to his page was immediate, and the numbers grew rapidly, establishing the site as a major voice of the Internet generation. From reading its posts, people realized that they were not alone in their fears and frustrations, and they began to add their comments, contribute content share in decisions about what actions might be taken. Ghonim credits the Tunisian revolution with finally giving young Egyptians the confidence to take to the streets. His own fears about concealing his identity were justified: He was arrested, blindfolded and handcuffed and interrogated in isolation for 12 days. Ghonim's Facebook page was not alone, however. Hundreds of other sites were launched to collect and disseminate news and images, and he credits these and Al Jazeera satellite TV and CNN with keeping the story of the Egyptian revolution alive. Questions remain: Is the revolution really over, or is another one against Egypt's entrenched military just beginning. If so, what role will social media play this time? A remarkable personal testament that will be cited by future historians of both Facebook and the Arab Spring.  

 

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-77398-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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