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 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
In fall 2010, Cairo-based Google executive Ghonim anonymously launched a Facebook page to challenge the death of an Egyptian man at the hands of the security police. Online protest by a crowd of followers soon led to public gatherings, and a revolution was announced for January 25. Yes, it happened, even though Ghonim was arrested and harshly interrogated for 11 days. Four days after Ghonim's release, Mubarak was out of the picture. No matter how closely we followed this extraordinary exercise of human rights in the news—or on Facebook—Ghonim's there-at-the-creation memoir should be a revelation.
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.