It appears that the inspiration for a number of recent popular uprisings is a book written by Gene Sharp, a largely (or popularly) unknown academic living in Boston
In an old townhouse in East Boston an elderly stooped man is tending rare orchids in his shabby office. His Labrador Sally lies on the floor between stacks of academic papers watching him as he shuffles past.
This is Dr Gene Sharp the man now credited with the strategy behind the toppling of the Egyptian government.
Gene Sharp is the world's foremost expert on non-violent revolution. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages, his books slipped across borders and hidden from secret policemen all over the world.
Power to the people? Clearly a dangerous thing in places like Russia, Iran, Venezuela
When it reached Russia the intelligence services raided the print shop and the shops selling it mysteriously burned to the ground.
The Iranians became so worried they broadcast an animated propaganda film on state TV - of Gene Sharp plotting the overthrow of Iran from The White House.
President Hugo Chavez used his weekly television address to warn the country that Sharp was a threat to the national security of Venezuela.