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WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy Paperback – Bargain Price, February 15, 2011

2.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Mediaite, February 5, 2011
“While [The Guardian’s] rendition of experience does not fail to leave out the requisite depiction of Assange as overbearing and paranoid, the overall tone of the story, rather than vengeful, is surprisingly self-effacing.”

TechCrunch, February 12, 2011
“You can imagine, then, how delighted I was to receive a copy of the Guardian’s new crash-published Wikileaks book and discover that it was all the things I wanted from the Times’ book. And more… Indeed, while ‘Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War On Secrecy’ is many things – a thriller, a story of international diplomacy, a tale of greed and ambition and double-crosses; a comedy, a tragedy – above all it’s a manifesto for the future of professional journalism…If Wikileaks is this generation’s Watergate, then ‘Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy’ might well prove to be its All The President’s Men; educating a whole new generation of would-be reporters on the power and importance of the professional press.”
 
MacLean’s, March 1, 2011
“Leigh’s portrait of the WikiLeaks founder is at once affectionate and damning—a dry-eyed examination of the way celebrity can pervert a burgeoning ego.”

Eurasian Review
, February 4, 2011
“The novelistic lens serves an important purpose by painting a richer, more three-dimensional portrait of the people behind WikiLeaks and the controversies in which they became embroiled.”
 
Kaietur News, March 6, 2011
“Fantastic… a complicated story of the relationship between a man who is a fanatical political activist (Assange) with no formal journalistic training and no background in the media, and a group of esteemed, famous professional media practitioners.”
 
Irish Independent, March 19, 2011
“In unraveling the murky details, the book has also provided a rip-roaring narrative of secrets, tantrums, technological wizardry, personal betrayal and vengeance.”

The American Prospect, June, 2011
“The best overview of the story as it stood in early 2011 is WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy…This is a gripping, spy-novel-paced recounting of how WikiLeaks, the Guardian, and the other major organizations managed a first-of-its-kind global news-breaking collaboration.”

About the Author

DAVID LEIGH is a British journalist, author, editor, and Anthony Sampson Professor of Reporting in the journalism department at City University London. He has been a prominent investigative journalist since the 1970s and is currently investigations editor of the Guardian. He was educated at Nottingham High School and King's College, Cambridge, receiving a research degree from Cambridge in 1968. He was a journalist for the Scotsman, Times, and Guardian (UK) and a Laurence Stern fellow at the Washington Post in 1980. From 1980, he was chief investigative reporter at the Observer.

LUKE HARDING is the Guardian's Moscow correspondent. He was previously the Guardian's South Asia correspondent in New Delhi and has reported for the paper from Afghanistan and Iraq. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161039061X
  • ASIN: B0057D9LJG
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,968,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Olga Fedina on February 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
As a member of the public who is following the Wikileaks drama (disinterested, but not dispassionate), I would like to say a few words about The Guardian journalists writings on Assange.

What one notices immediately is the general tone of these writings, not only devoid of any sympathy for the subject, but frankly bilious. Leaving you with an unpleasant taste in your mouth, this tone makes you slightly suspicious as for the authors' motivations and impartiality. It would also disappoint anyone hoping to get an insight into the "enigmatic" Wikileak's founder's human qualities. In fact, the way Julian Assange is presented throughout the book is not as a human at all, but rather as some exotic animal who needs to be constantly "managed" (and is now caged and can be poked at safely). Those few little human interest details about his childhood and youth included in the book can be easily searched for on the Internet (where the authors probably found them).

More than characterising its subject, this book characterises the media world. You do not get any sense of gratitude or recognition from The Guardian for Wikileaks giving it the biggest news stories of the last few decades, on a scale unimaginable to the Guardian's team of "investigative journalists". (Taking on Jonathan Aitken is not quite the same as taking on the Pentagon and the US government). There is no gratitude either for Julian Assange's hard work in taking the physical risks and psychological pressure for getting those news stories out. There is no sense of solidarity with Wikileaks, the organisation that essentially is serving the same purpose as any good newspaper should serve: getting the truth out.
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Format: Paperback
David Leigh for anyone who has followed the Wikileaks story is someone who has in rather despicable fashion exploited the mass of information provided by Julian Assange and Wikileaks for his personal and his newspaper's gain, while at the same time being very instrumental in denigrating both Assange, Wikileaks and indirectly (IF he is the source) Bradley Manning. For people who want a more truthful account follow the articles by Israel Shamir in "CounterPunch" for instance. Leigh like his fellow manipulator, exploiter, and denigrator, NYT editor Bill Keller, loves profiting from the information provided (at great personal risk, and with almost heroic efforts in the face of vicious, totalitarian, no-holds-barred persecution by authorities in the US Empire and its proconsular hangers on the EU and other countries, by Assange and Wikileaks). This book is simply the product of an author who started with those goals in mind. So it is nothing resembling either a true, fair, balanced, or factual account. It is an extended smear intended to benefit Leigh and the "Guardian" while selling Assange and Wikileaks down the river. Read John Pilger's assessments and accounts of David Leigh and this book as well to get a better idea of what is going on. Daniel Domscheit Berg is another similar sort of individual who has smeared Wikileaks and Assange with the same goal of pursuing personal profit and 'glory' at the expense of the group's enterprise.
Finally do NOT purchase the book from this site in any case, since they also were totally complicit in the totalitarian witch-hunt against Assange and Wikileaks, denying them hosting services, and therefore (like the financial companies) basically voluntarily acting in the illegal ways the US Empire requested of them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first comment I did on my updates about this book is "Words, words, words. This doesn't look good." This is my warning that there are some things the writer did that are completely unnecessary and could be thrown out without losing any context. There are a lot more of those "words, words, words" moments all over the content, so much that the book feels more like a novelization of the Cablegate events than a proper recounting of the events.

It doesn't make the story itself bad, it is a good story with a lot of cruft.

But the story itself it's about Wikileaks, from its inception to the release of the so called Cablegate -- the release of several diplomatic cables. Actually, Wikileaks is just the background story here; the whole action is more about how The Guardian dealt with Assange and the other publishing partners than Wikileaks itself.

It's not a bad story, even with the abundance of words. There are a lot of forgotten elements -- like the story behind Manning and his leaking -- which tend to be completely ignored at this point. But, again, there are too many unnecessary words that go nowhere. Prepare to get annoyed about the continuous mention of the some cable over and over again -- and see the said cable in its complete form in the end.

(Why I'm mentioning this? 'Cause the book makes a huge deal of how several cables affected international politics, but keep mentioning the same three cables over and over again. I mean, if several where that important, why are the same three mentioned so many times?)
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