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Wael Ghonim on the social media spark that lit Egypt's revolutionary fire

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

by Wael Ghonim
(Mariner Books,
2012;
$18.95)

Reading Revolution 2.0 against the backdrop of the current unrest in Egypt, one can’t help but feel nostalgic.

After all, this book is an ode to the belief that people have the power to choose their political, social, and economic destinies -- at least if they unite in their struggle for justice.

And for all of us, it indeed seemed possible as we watched the Egyptian revolution unfold, when citizens who had up until been “unengaged,” “cautious” and “intimidated” finally broke through the barrier of fear. Who can forget those staggering scenes in Cairo’s Tahrir square full of millions of hopeful, demanding, persistent demonstrators finally finding their voice?

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A progressive dialogue: The renewal of the statist Left? The contradictions of Venezuela

Over the past generation, progressives have witnessed the fall of the Soviet Union and the decline of neoliberalism. As in all periods of collapse, the smoke and fury of the falling debris has, to some degree, concealed the possibilities that produced, accompanied and emerged from the breakdown. The most exciting progressive alternatives to emerge have come from the resurgence of the left in Latin America. This resurgence is multi-faceted, encompassing social movements, civil society and states: exemplified by networks of indigenous movements, the World Social Forum process and the election of leftist political parties and leaders.

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