The U.S. is celebrating Independence Day and 2011 has been a year of revolution. So, it only seems appropriate that we spend a moment or two celebrating the year's most notable revolutionaries. Some directly channel the spirit of Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, others earned their place on the list inadvertently. But everyone cited below has, for better or for worse, generated some fireworks.
Let's begin with a few honorable mention contenders for top revolutionary honors, then we can conclude by crowning a Miss Congeniality, a runner up, and a champion.
Honorable Mention: Wael Ghonim
To start on a serious note, few people captured the revolutionary spirit more fully than did Wael Ghonim, the Egyptian Google executive that even President Obama cited as an ideal leader of tomorrow for the post-Mubarak Era. Ghonim's website "We Are All Khaled Said," named after a young Egyptian who died at the hands of the government, helped galvanize opposition to Mubarak. But it was his arrest and his appearances following his release that made him the face of Tahrir Square and helped fill the world with hope that this Arab Spring might lead to real political change in Cairo and throughout the region.
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