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Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History Hardcover – June 1, 2012


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Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History + This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World's Information + The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613740689
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613740682
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“In telling the story of how the intelligence analyst Bradley Manning came into contact with the self-promoting anti-secrecy radical Julian Assange under the pressure cooker of the Iraq war, Denver Nicks has written a page-turner that reads like a cyberthriller. It’s simultaneously a coming-of-age story, a coming-out story, an X-ray of American culture in the Homeland Security era, a well-researched history of espionage, an exposé of the routinized cruelties of the 21st-century US military, and a meditation on the human costs of the cult of secrecy.” —Ned Sublette, author of The World that Made New Orleans

“WikiLeaks accomplice Brad Manning was a gay geek in the military at a time when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ defined the war on all kinds of freedoms, not just sexual ones. Denver Nicks has given us a suspenseful, sensitively drawn account of righteous rage, vigilante justice, and the young man who risked his future to make the truth known.” —James Gavin, author of Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet Baker

“Brad Manning’s ordinary existence becomes extraordinary through the fine writing of Nicks. The conversations between Manning, his confidants, and others are expertly woven together in a way that propels this story along like a thrilling, suspense-filled novel.” —Randy L. Schmidt, author of Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

About the Author

Denver Nicks is a writer based in New York City. Originally from Oklahoma, he has developed a reputation for intrepid reporting in challenging contexts. Nicks has written about street art in Poland, a failed coup in the Philippines, post-coup Honduras, and the hidden working-class underbelly of Wall Street in the midst of the financial meltdown. A Fulbright Scholar, he holds a Master of Science from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. His work has appeared in The Daily Beast, AlterNet, The Nation, and other publications.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The story Nicks tells goes far beyond Bradley Manning and Julian Assange.
Ned Trace
The only thing I am sure of is that we'll see Mr. Nicks' name somewhere in the producer/screenwriter credits of the movie when it comes out.
DanielWhittle
This is a really well written book that without being too long goes into a lot of depth covering the issues involved.
Book Fanatic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By DanielWhittle on July 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I began reading Denver Nicks' account of the Bradley Manning/Wikileaks story, Private, I must admit, I knew little more of the actual story than somebody had leaked volumes of classified material to a website. I remember, at the time the events in the book were initially being reported on, having conflicting feelings on what could be considered either a national betrayal or a naïve step towards the revealing power of the truth. I found the debate fascinating. So, as most of us did, I forgot all about it sometime between the season finale of Modern Family and learning that the World Cup was in fact infested with vuvuzelas and not a massive swarm of bees.

The intro/prologue is a lost art. In most cases I've experienced, the intro is simply a poorly named Chapter 1. Sometimes though, it's a clever non-sequitur that gives away the book's ending. I was, however, totally hooked by the intro to Private. I mean, a courtroom trial setting that seemed to put my favourite parts of A Few Good Men and A Time To Kill onto the same page and then demands the question, "Who is Bradley Manning?"

Nicks pulls a nice Steinbeck via segmentation, balancing the personal minutiae of Bradley Manning with the greater and longer historied cultural landscape that made way for this chain of events. If you honestly interview most people, I'd wager you'll find a decent enough biography somewhere in the details. With Manning, the pieces are all there in dramatic fashion so it struck me as odd that the more I read, the more I found myself wanting to skip to the chapters about the hacker code of ethics and this digital Andy Warhol fellow, Julian Assange.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ned Trace on July 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant book; well researched and well written. The story Nicks tells goes far beyond Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. He's tackling the whole question of secrecy in the information age and coming up with no easy answers. I guess I take two thoughts away with me: since 9/11 the US has devolved into a cult of government secrecy that best serves the power elite; and the crusaders who challenge this condition will never be the faultless heroes we would like. History is messy and confusing while it is being lived, and the best clarity we can hope for is knowing as much of the truth as we can.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MaxMaker on July 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This incredibly well researched body of work, detailing Manning, Assange, Wikileaks and the state of secrecy in America today reads more like a Tom Clancy novel than a piece of non-fiction!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By dale maharidge on March 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Denver Nicks takes us as much as possible into the mind of Private Manning to tell the human side of a story that is in the headlines. Left, right, center, we should be scared of what the U.S. Government is doing these days in the name of national security. If you like TomDispatch, the late Alexander Cockburn, or the work of documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, you will love this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Arnoldi on January 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very good author addressing a timely story. A good place to start to understand this complex case. Highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barry Whyte on May 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Private," Denver Nicks gives us a necessary reminder of precisely what has happened to Bradley Manning since his leaking of the largest cache of military documents in U.S. history. In reading it, apart from being shocked at the full extent of Manning's treatment, you constantly ask yourself why this isn't a bigger story - why Julian Assange dominates the headlines rather than Bradley Manning.

But the most important part of this book is not the how -- it's the why. Nicks sketches out Manning's world, his development as a person, and the entirely understandable impulses that convinced him that the only option was to release these documents to the public.

It's a deft portrait of a human being -- but an even more important document of what has happened to that human being in this period of American history in which secrecy and paranoia are the dominant official impulses.
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