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Zuckerberg's book club pick: 'The End of Power' deals with 'microplayers,' like Hezbollah, hedge funds, and startups

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Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the start of his first book club, including his first pick, "The End of Power," by Moises Naim.

By Monday, the book club's Facebook page had more than 150,000 followers, the book was sold out on Amazon, and publisher Perseus was scrambling to do a new print run.

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No wonder he's being called the Oprah of books.

“It’s always good news when figures with influence in the culture call attention to the importance of books,” Jonathan Galassi, president and publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, told the Wall Street Journal.

In this case, the book, "The End of Power," was a respected, though modestly-selling, nonfiction book with a finite audience that has since been launched to a global audience thanks to Mr. Zuckerberg.

The book discusses how new world "microplayers," like Hezbollah, hedge funds, and startups, are toppling once-established "megaplayers," like powerful nation states, banks, and corporations.

As the Washington Post explains, the book argues that "the clout wielded by large, traditional institutions – from the Vatican to the Pentagon to Wall Street – is diminishing due to revolutionary changes" in global power structures.

“It’s a book that explores how the world is shifting to give individual people more power that was traditionally only held by large governments, militaries and other organizations," Zuckerberg said about the book. "The trend towards giving people more power is one I believe in deeply, and I’m looking forward to reading this book and exploring this in more detail.”

The author, Moises Naim, is a columnist and former editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine. He is now a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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He told the Washington Post he was surprised and delighted to see his book was chosen by Zuckerberg.

“I am as surprised as I am thrilled that Zuckerberg has created an opportunity to have my ideas aired on a global scale,” he said. “I look forward to engaging in the book discussion.”

And though the book sold out on Amazon, where it's now back in stock and is ranked #8 on its Bestseller list, it remains to be seen how Oprah-like Zuckerberg's impact will be on books. Ms. Winfrey's book club picks typically sold more than 1 million copies.

"Since her show ended in 2011, there hasn’t been a comparable pop-culture figure regularly promoting book sales," the Journal reported.

Could Zuckerberg really be the next Oprah for books?

Stay tuned.


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