Nonfiction Short Take: Revolution for Dummies – Bassem Youssef

Youssef is an Egyptian heart-surgeon whose funny and incisive coverage of Egyptian Revolution on YouTube led him to be called “the Jon Stewart of the Arab World” and eventually forced him to flee Egypt for his life.

The idea that a government would shut down humorous political commentary because it is convinced the commentator is a CIA operative recruited by John Stewart with a mission to bring down the government via sarcasm might have seemed pretty outlandish a year ago. In this year’s America, it might well be read as a cautionary tale. At least it’s a funny one.

 Hilarious and heartbreaking. Comedy shouldn’t take courage, but it made an exception for Bassem.”
— Jon Stewart

“Youssef’s memoir often illustrates the old Belfast graffito that if you aren’t confused, you don’t know what’s going on. His account of the rise of Mohamed Morsi, a supposed revolutionary fully implicated in the old regime, is a case in point, with a familiar denouement: ‘Sure enough, after he and the Brotherhood won, they did what they do best: screwed everyone over. Let the games begin!’”
Kirkus Reviews

Youssef will appear on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah the week after that. He’ll also be on NPR’s Weekend Edition, On Point, PRI’s The World, The New Yorker Radio Hour and Fareed Zakaria GPS.

Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring (9780062446893) by Bassem Youssef. $26.99 hardcover. 3/21/17 on sale.

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