From Samizdat to Twitter

February 8, 2011  • Walter Isaacson

The uncertainty surrounding Egypt’s future is fueling a debate: Are we witnessing Tehran in 1979 or Prague in 1989? Is Egypt on the threshold of theocracy or democracy? The truth is that there is no way to know. But the flood of texts, emails, Facebook posts, tweets, and YouTube videos that continue to stream out of Egypt remind me of samizdat — the illegal grassroots literature that circulated underground throughout the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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