Media-Military Relations, Politics

To Borrow a Title, Revolution: A User’s Manual

In 2006, I attended an event at the New York Public Library, “Revolution: A User’s Manual,” with Adam Michnik, Baltasar Garzon, Giaconda Belli and G.M. Tamas and moderated by Christopher Hitchens. It was my first encounter with Michnik; we would meet again a year and a half later one October day in his Warsaw office to discuss German MP Erika Steinbach’s efforts to build a Center Against Expulsions in Berlin and the prickly question of monuments and historical memory.

A partial reading, watching and listening list relevant to the craft of revolution since the manuals are being rewritten yet again. Links to source material from this and past revolutions is provided when available free and online:

60 Minutes/CBS News, “Wael Ghonim and Egypt’s New Age Revolution.” Airdate: February 13, 2011.

Al Jazeera English, “Egyptian Actor Supports the Protesters.” Airdate: February 1, 2011.

“They think they can hijack 85 million voices saying ‘enough.'” – Khalid Abo Al-Naga

The Atlantic Tumblr, “The Most Subversive Protest of All: An Egyptian Protestor [sic] Kisses a Riot Police Officer.” January 28, 2011.

CNN, “Americans Getting Out of Egypt.” Airdate: February 3, 2011.

“If the military did not kill us, they said they were going to kill the military and then kill us.”
– Christopher Le Coq

Committee to Protect Journalists, “Mubarak Intensifies Press Assaults with Arrests, Detentions.” February 3, 2011.

Sam Cooke, “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

Dream TV courtesy of The Guardian, “Egypt Activist Wael Ghonim Tells TV Station ‘I Am No Hero’ – Video.” February 8, 2011.

“It is the fault of everyone who clung to power.” – Wael Ghonim

Murray Edelman. Constructing the Political Spectacle.

Murray Edelman. The Politics of Misinformation.

Foreign Policy, “Everybody Loved Hosni.” February 1, 2011.

Timothy Garton Ash, “Not 1989. Not 1979. But Egyptians Can Learn From Other Revolutions” The Guardian. February 9, 2011.

Timothy Garton Ash, “The Stasi On Our Minds” The New York Review of Books. May 31, 2007.

Julianna Goldman, “Daley’s Talk of Turmoil in Egypt Returns Him to Chicago Violence of 1968Bloomberg. February 3, 2011.

White House Chief of Staff William Daley was discussing the Egyptian uprising — massive protests, police in the streets — and thought he had captured the impact of it well when he said, “The world will be watching.” Then, chuckling, Daley caught himself as his mind raced back to 1968, when “the whole world is watching” was an anthem of antiwar demonstrators clashing with police when his father, Richard J. Daley, was mayor of Chicago.

Vaclav Havel, The Power of the Powerless.

Iconic Photos, “Agony and Death of General Franco.” Posted: February 1, 2011.

Victor Jara, “Te Recuerdo Amanda.”

Whitney Johnson, “Postcard From Tahrir Square: Nadia Shira CohenThe New Yorker Photo Booth. February 3, 2011.

Ashraf Khalil, “The Day of Hunting JournalistsForeign Policy. February 3, 2011.

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” April 16, 1963.

Phillip Knightley. The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from the Crimea to Iraq.

Kerri MacDonald, “Jubilation in Tahrir SquareThe New York Times Lens. February 11, 2011.

Photographs and words from photographers Ed Ou and Moises Saman.

Adam Michnik, “Letter from the Gdansk Prison” The New York Review of Books. July 18, 1985; translated by Jerzy B. Warman.

Forty months after the Soviet invasion Hungary resembled a political cemetery; forty months of normalization in Czechoslovakia transformed it, in Aragon’s apt phrase, into the cultural Biafra of Europe. But in Poland, even after official liquidation of independent public institutions (trade unions, artists’ associations, youth organizations, editorial boards of various journals, etc.), after forty months of repression and provocation, the independent civil society, although pushed outside the official sphere, has not been annihilated. Under the Leading System this is an unprecedented phenomenon. More than a Communist system after victorious pacification, this situation resembles a democracy after a military coup d’état. The Poles have traveled a great distance on their journey from totalitarianism to democracy.

Adam Michnik, “On Andrei Sakharov” The New York Review of Books. January 13, 2011.

Barack Obama, “Obama: Victory Speech” The New York Times. November 4, 2008.

Simon Romero, “In Venezuela, an American Has the President’s EarThe New York Times. February 4, 2011.

Her influence extends to the president himself. In October, she accompanied Mr. Chávez on a seven-country tour that included visits with Venezuelan allies like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran. “Chávez presented me as his defender to Ahmadinejad,” said Ms. Golinger, describing the Iranian leader as “gentle” after giving him her book at a dinner.

She came away from the trip with her own appreciation of other Venezuelan allies like President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus, who is often called Europe’s last dictator.

After meeting Mr. Lukashenko in person, she described him as “really nice.” As for Belarus itself, she said its Western critics were mistaken because it is “not a dictatorship.” Rather, she said, “It is socialism.” She praised a Belarussian agricultural town she visited. “People seemed really into their communal work and stuff like that,” she said.

Scott Shane, “America’s Journeys with StrongmenThe New York Times. February 5, 2011.

Lee Siegel, “Book Review: Twitter Can’t Save YouThe New York Times. February 4, 2011.

Book review of Evgeny Morozov’s The Net Delusion where he asks, “What if the liberating potential of the Internet also contains the seeds of depoliticization and thus dedemocratization?”

Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, “The Rule of the Nile.” Airdate: January 27, 2011.

Transitions Online, “2010 Transitions Online Photo Competition.” January 30, 2011.

“Politics and Democracy + First Place Overall: Our congratulations to Abbas Atilay from Azerbaijan, overall winner and winner of the Politics and Democracy category. His winning photograph captures the apprehension of a protester during an opposition demonstration in Baku for free parliamentary elections.”

World News with Diane Sawyer, “We’ve compiled a list of all the journalists who have been in some way threatened, attacked or detained while reporting in Egypt.” February 3, 2011.