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No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State Hardcover – May 13, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2014: In May of 2013, Edward Snowden, a young systems administrator contracting for the National Security Agency, fled the United States for Hong Kong, carrying with him thousands of classified documents outlining the staggering capabilities of the NSA.’s surveillance programs--including those designed to collect information within the U.S. There Snowden arranged a meeting with Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, and so began the most explosive leak of classified material since the Pentagon Papers, over 40 years ago. No Place to Hide opens with Greenwald’s tense account of his initial cloak-and-dagger encounters with Snowden, then transitions into descriptions of the NSA’s vast information-collection apparatus, including a selection of the “Snowden files” with commentary on the alphabet soup of agencies and code names. And--in typical Greenwald style--the book is packed with his opinions on government snooping, its legality, and the impacts on our Constitutional freedoms. Whether you consider Snowden a whistleblower crying foul on government overreach, or a self-aggrandizing traitor who put national security at risk, Greenwald’s book is thrilling and enlightening, a bellwether moment in a crucial debate. --Jon Foro
“Impassioned . . . gripping . . . Greenwald amplifies our understanding of the N.S.A.'s sweeping ambitions . . . and delivers a fierce argument in defense of the right of privacy.” ―Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Rings with authority . . . vital for anyone interested in civil liberties . . . this book is an antidote to the common public perception that government spooks are only interested in ‘bad' people.” ―Chicago Tribune
“Incisive, slashing . . . Greenwald's pugilistic skills are on full display . . . If you want to get a handle on what was at stake when Snowden downloaded the government's most precious secrets onto a thumb drive, this book is your primer.” ―Slate
“Provides an excellent overview of the NSA's still-classified activities and lack of legal controls, putting the pieces together in a way that daily journalism cannot.” ―The Economist
“A vital discussion on Snowden's revelations.” ―Los Angeles Times
“Reads like a thriller . . . With heart-pounding suspense, John le Carre-like intrigue and Jeffersonian fidelity to the principles of human freedom . . . No Place to Hide is also a morality tale about the personal courage required of Snowden and Greenwald and his colleagues to expose government wrongdoing and the risk to their lives, liberties and properties in doing so.” ―Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, FOX News
“Shocking . . . It is hard to argue with Greenwald's contention that ‘the NSA is the definitive rogue agency.'” ―The Christian Science Monitor
“A fascinating read that adds much to the debate on national security and privacy.” ―Los Angeles Review of Books
“A smart, impassioned indictment of what Greenwald calls ‘fear-driven, obsequious journalism.'” ―San Francisco Chronicle
“A compelling narrative that puts the most explosive revelations about official criminality into vital context . . . The book ends with a beautiful, barn-burning coda in which Greenwald sets out his case for a society free from surveillance. It reads like the transcript of a particularly memorable speech--an ‘I have a dream' speech; a ‘Blood, sweat, toil and tears' speech. . . . It's a speech I hope to hear Greenwald deliver himself someday.” ―Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
“Eloquent . . . powerful . . . Greenwald makes a persuasive case that this is a battle that has engulfed us all, and one that has not yet ended” ―VICE
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Top Customer Reviews
This is not a book written for the purpose of telling you the US government is watching your every step and every move, everyone knows that. And the author did not waste time replicating news articles you've already read through the media outlets. I finished this book within 5 hours, and thought it was well written and well worth your time.
Greenwald, one of the original journalists who revealed Snowden's leaks last year, did a remarkably good job on going over the history of U.S.'s surveillance tactics. In his new book, No Place to Hide, Greenwald briefly goes over his adventures/experience on meeting with Edward Snowden and revealing US's NSA surveillance program. Greenwald explains the difficulties and obstacles that were involved before the story went live, mostly by reluctant lawyers, and news agencies such as NYT and Washington Post. For those curious, Greenwald also explains in detail the true intentions of Edward Snowden.
Later chapters of the book reveal Greenwald's opinion on the recent NSA leaks, and his classification of US as a surveillance state.
Keep in mind that Greenwald was previously a columnist, and his writing style of a columnist is clearly seen throughout the book. This is not merely a book with facts, but a book with opinion, with logical and concrete evidence that not just the U.S., but other state actors are well, are progressing into what George Orwell wrote in his infamous 1984 novel (Orwellian state).
Greenwald ends the book by warning the consequences involved as we progress into the Orwellian state and the issue of journalists not being journalists, but being government puppets instead.
This is a highly recommended book for those who wish to read into detail one of the biggest government leaks in the history.
I've watched Greenwald's career with a puzzled sense of suspicion and envy. He reminds readers that he was a constitutional and civil rights lawyer for a decade, before leaving the law for journalism. That's a barren boast. I practice in those areas as well. Frankly, you don't accomplish much in those areas in a brief decade at the bar: Greenwald left the law just about the time it was for him to show the world he could so something other than take a deposition or second chair a more seasoned lawyer. I've often wondered if he left the law because he could not cut it.
But his work with Edward Snowden makes me a fan. He took a difficult stand on the grounds of principle, and helped change the debate about privacy worldwide by publishing the material given him by Snowden. This most recent book tells the story of how they met, what Snowden released, and the world's reaction to it. It is a powerful indictment both of a government brazenly living outside the boundaries of the very law it purports to uphold, and of feckless mainstream journalists too embedded in privilege to serve as watchdogs. Greenwald to the Fourth Estate: Shame on you!
What is reported here is both common and endlessly surprising. The National Security Agency has more than 30,000 employees, and tens of thousands more private contractors spread throughout the world. The goal of the agency is to capture every bit of electronic communication worldwide. Agents even go so far as to intercept, and open, boxes of computer hardware shipped overseas to implant monitoring equipment to route information back to the NSA. Not only does the agency do all this, its representatives then lie to Congress about it. We the people take it all in stride, like supine sheep, afraid lest the terrorists sprout from our collective unconscious and destroy us.
We are being trained for blind obedience in a climate of fear, with power corrupting those who wield it, and voices of dissent demonized and either ridiculed or prosecuted when they speak inconvenient truths: The Obama administration, inaugurated promising transparency, has brought more criminal prosecutions under the Espionage Act than all other administrations combined. Even journalists are now regarded as criminals by a government intent on spying on everyone while keeping secret the scope of what it does.
Greenwald is unsparing in his criticism of both the government and the fourth estate. Jeffrey Toobin, legal commentator for CNN and The New Yorker, is roundly scored: Could it be that Toobin, with his insider sources on the Supreme Court and elsewhere, has grown fat, sassy and complacent now that he has become part of the very infrastructure on which he reports? Ditto for David Brooks, who plays coffee-table intellectual as columnist for The New York Times and PBS NewsHour.
This was a fabulous read. It is written in sober, plain-spoken prose. It tells a compelling story about a man our government will prosecute as a criminal, but who is, in fact, a closer cousin to the men we revere as founders of this republic than any of his critics. After reading this book, I am more convinced than ever that Edward Snowden deserves the Nobel Peace Prize: His acts of conscience have changed our perception of the world, warning us that the surveillance state is out of control. I am grateful to Glenn Greenwald for heeding Snowden's warning.