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Publisher's Summary

A firsthand account and incisive analysis of modern protest, revealing Internet-fueled social movements' greatest strengths and frequent challenges.

To understand a thwarted Turkish coup, an anti-Wall Street encampment, and a packed Tahrir Square, we must first comprehend the power and the weaknesses of using new technologies to mobilize large numbers of people. An incisive observer, writer, and participant in today's social movements, Zeynep Tufekci explains in this accessible and compelling book the nuanced trajectories of modern protests - how they form, how they operate differently from past protests, and why they have difficulty persisting in their long-term quests for change.

Tufekci speaks from direct experience, combining on-the-ground interviews with insightful analysis. She describes how the Internet helped the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the necessity of remote Twitter users to organize medical supplies during Arab Spring, the refusal to use bullhorns in the Occupy Movement that started in New York, and the empowering effect of tear gas in Istanbul's Gezi Park. These details from life inside social movements complete a moving investigation of authority, technology, and culture - and offer essential insights into the future of governance.

©2017 Zeynep Tufekci (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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  • James
  • Baltimore County, MD, USA
  • 03-11-18

Insightful but frustrating

While this is a very insightful book, the author's perspective is skewed by some pretty clear bias that I think she'd benefit from examining more carefully. Her background as career activist for left-wing causes gives her a great deal of perspective and she has been more thoughtful than many about these issues, but she has a very difficult time separating her own views from the causes that she examines. she would benefit greatly from avoiding reflexively supporting any group calling itself a left-wing anti-authoritarian movement, understanding the perspectives of other sides, and examining other social movements from perspectives other than those of her cohorts. for example, my perspective is perhaps colored by having recently finished an excellent book on the subject of Muslim movements in the Middle East since the Arab Spring (Shadi Hamid, Temptations of Power), but her interest only in portraying the most positive aspects of anti Mubarak protestors in Egypt in 2011, and not at all contending with the impact of the Muslim Brotherhood and their existing organizational structure, is a major blind spot, not least because it would actually significantly enrich her analysis of the importance of prior organizational structures and logistics. I was pretty stunned that the tea party was mentioned only in the context of a study whose design she wanted to praise, and that, even worse, the French Revolution was held up as a positive model to learn from. she has never heard of a protest movement that closes itself in the mantle of anti-authoritarianism that she doesn't love or just ignore (tea party, Iranian revolution...). I think this book is best understood as a message from a veteran activist to over-enthusiastic younger generations tempted to believe that technology obviates the need to learn from the lessons of the past; however, the author herself should heed her own advice and start by reading Edmund Burke.

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Most relevant political book at present.

This is the most relevant book for the current political climate. Amazing collection of insights into today's changing political environment.

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Incredible book!

One of the most important books about democracy in an age with social media. Great reading. Very clear. Highly recommend.

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One of the best books on social media and moments!

Highly recommend reading for anyone interested in social media and social movements. Definitely worth the time!

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I recommend it for activists, people interested

I recommend it for activists, people interested in protest movement
Good and simple to listen by

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  • Gregory Monk
  • 07-19-17

An in-depth look @ social media's role in protests

What other book might you compare Twitter and Tear Gas to, and why?

Sections of the book reminded me of Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible in that it helps to explain the use of information glutting as a way of obscuring the truth and muddying the waters, leading to confusion and paralysis of would be dissenters.

Any additional comments?

A reasoned account of social media from a person with undoubted experience of protests. It was refreshing to listen to the views of someone who neither attacked social media as a complete write off, nor highlighted it as the best thing since sliced bread.