Moisés Naím was shocked when copies of his nearly two-year-old book "The End of Power" sold out over the course of a few hours last week. Turns out he had Mark Zuckerberg to thank, after the Facebook chief executive officer chose it to kick off his new online book club.
Zuckerberg's New Year's resolution is to read a new book every two weeks. He created a Facebook page called A Year of Books to announce picks and crowdsource recommendations. Unbeknownst to Naím, Zuck's first choice was "The End of Power," which is about how power has shifted from governments, religions and companies to individuals.
Naím, a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Venezuelan politician, called a friend who works at Facebook, assuming she had put in a good word to her boss. She told Naím she had nothing to do with it. He asked others, and they told him that this is something Zuckerberg did on his own.
"I had no clue that this was going to happen," Naím says in his first interview since Zuckerberg's pick. "It's gratifying and energizing and a great thing for an author."
Zuckerberg wrote in his Facebook post announcing the pick, "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." Within three hours, "The End of Power" was sold out on Amazon.com, Naím says. The Facebook page for Zuckerberg's book club has more than 150,000 people who "liked" the page to get updates.
Naím says he's never met Zuckerberg but is "immensely grateful" for the shout-out. "The End of Power" is currently ranked No. 34 on Amazon's list of bestselling books and third on Barnes & Noble. The publisher Basic Books is rushing to print more copies, Naím says. It's now back in stock on Amazon's website.