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Revolution for Dummies

Narrated by: Bassem Youssef
Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The Jon Stewart of the Arabic World" - the creator of The Program, the most popular television show in Egypt's history - chronicles his transformation from heart surgeon to political satirist, and offers crucial insight into the Arab Spring, the Egyptian Revolution, and the turmoil roiling the modern Middle East.

Bassem Youssef's incendiary satirical news program, Al-Bernameg (The Program), chronicled the events of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, and the rise of Mubarak's successor, Mohamed Morsi. Youssef not only captured his nation's dissent, but stamped it with his own brand of humorous political criticism, in which the Egyptian government became the prime laughing stock.

So potent were Youssef's skits, jokes, and commentary, the authoritarian government accused him of insulting the Egyptian presidency and Islam. After a six-hour long police interrogation, Youssef was released. While his case was eventually dismissed, his television show was terminated, and Youssef, fearful for his safety, fled his homeland.

In Revolution for Dummies, Youssef recounts his life and offers hysterical riffs on the hypocrisy, instability, and corruption that has long animated Egyptian politics. From the attempted cover-up of the violent clashes in Tahrir Square to the government's announcement that it had created the world's first "AIDS cure" machine, to the conviction of officials that Youssef was a CIA operative - recruited by Jon Stewart - to bring down the country through sarcasm. There's much more - and it's all insanely true.

Interweaving the dramatic and inspiring stories of the development of his popular television show and his rise as the most contentious funny-man in Egypt, Youssef's humorous, fast-paced takes on dictatorship, revolution, and the unforeseeable destiny of democracy in the modern Middle East offers much needed hope and more than a few healing laughs.

©2017 Bassem Youssef (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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Entertaining the Arab Spring

I really enjoyed this audiobook. In documenting his dramatic rise as a satirical political commentator through his own popular Daily Show style program in Egypt Bassem provides many interesting insights on the the Arab Spring from an insider perspective. A highly funny, entertaining listen and would recommend for anyone who's interested in learning more about Youssef's story and work before attaining notoriety on Stewart's Daily Show.

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  • Rachel - Audible
  • 17-10-2017

The Jon Stewart of the Middle East

Bassem Youssef earned the nickname “The Jon Stewart of the Middle East” with his popular satirical news show in Egypt. Political pressure ultimately forced him to flee his country during the Arab Spring, and here he finally tells the whole story with dry, weary humor. The part that blows my mind the MOST is that this man was a freaking HEART SURGEON before the revolution, and he fell into becoming a hugely successful TV news host basically on a whim. Once he got a taste, there was no turning back. Talk about stumbling into your life's calling.

Youssef's trademark seems to be that he jokes about whatever he wants, totally irregardless of pressure from Egypt's leaders, his bosses, or popular opinion. He sticks to his guns, opinions be damned. It's what made him so successful but was also ultimately his downfall. There are so many moments in his story where you're like "Bassemmmmmm, don't do it." But then he does it, and you're just left in awe of his single-minded commitment to forbidding anyone from interfering with his content.

I also have a soft spot for stories with close male friendships, and Youssef's real-life friendship with Jon Stewart is very touching. Youssef was a fan first, and you can tell he's still totally starstruck by Stewart, but Stewart became his mentor and ultimately his friend. There's a moment when Youssef flies to Jordan to meet Stewart in a moment of crisis, as Stewart is one of the few people in the world who can possibly understand and counsel him on the more delicate aspects of being a satirical news host. I loved those parts of this book.

Youssef's voice is totally charming on the audio, and his international perspective is also fascinating, hitting closer to home than you’d expect. His memoir brings the events and fallout of the Arab Spring to life in an accessible way, with a satirist's flair. This was a great listen.

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  • dwarfbeard
  • 28-03-2017

Hilarious Insight From Someone Who Lived It

As an American who cheered the Arab Spring, Occupy Wallstreet, and still can't believe what has happened since, I recommend this to my friends on both sides of the aisle. You think it can't happen here? This wonderfully funny man watched it happen once then watched us plant the same seeds here. As right as you think your cause is, listen and heed the warnings that any belief or movement can be twisted to serve those in power who has no desire to give it up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • KIMBERLE YOUNG
  • 21-03-2017

Wow worth every penny!

Wow great book, if you don't learn from history your doomed to repeat it! 2 thumds way up

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • amazonian
  • 06-06-2019

best book I've read this year!

fantastic entry point into Arab Spring, engaging, funny, depressing. highly recommend for anyone interested in politics and comedy

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  • Yassir
  • 27-02-2019

Revolution for Dummies

What a terrible book.. full of generalisations and stereotyping. Nothing original. The author is self righteous and always promoting his own actions with no sign of self reflection.

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  • myz
  • 05-01-2019

Fascinating Listen!

"The textbook of fear is the same everywhere."

Bassem Youssef has a unique voice and a great way of telling a serious, important story without being horribly depressing. He is a comedian and uses his wit and intelligence to explain how his life in Egypt changed with the Arab Spring and ensuing troubles. As someone who has always had a particular interest in Egypt, this was a truly gripping, eye-opening read. I would highly recommend it to anyone trying to better understand the conflicts and history of this country.

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  • Basim Ayoub
  • 31-12-2018

Impressive narrative

Impressive narrative if why & how Bassem Youssef has to be estranged from his beloved country Egypt!!

Loved it

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  • Flash
  • 03-10-2018

Wow

Listening to Bassem Youssef was an enlightening experience.

The man is funny. His voice is just fine.

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  • Danny
  • 29-07-2018

Brilliant read, warning for the US

For anyone who took even a bit of algebra or otherwise knows how to abstract an issue, this story is funny, tragic, and ominous. Basam shows us how Egypt's incompetent totalitarians are the same as the ones all around the world and through history. The parallels with Trumpism are ominous and obvious. I hope we fix it.

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  • Jay
  • 29-01-2018

Must-read for fans of political satire

Dr. Bassem Youssef has had an incredible five years fighting the rise of totalitarian politics in Egypt. For those that followed his story when it was going on, or for those who are fans of people like Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and other political satirists, this book is a great insight into the process behind the curtain, of what makes comedians useful and necessary in questioning power. Especially in the US, now that we’re in the “Make America Great Again” era, I absolutely recommend this book to everyone.

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  • a reader
  • 08-04-2017

Fascinating and hilarious!

Read by the man himself, this is the amazing story of a very very brave guy who took a stand for democracy in the face of tyranny and hypocrisy, and it's funny!

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  • kaisbadran
  • 18-04-2017

Great Read

informative, Honest and fun. it left me thinking and left me with a void for more