- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; F First Paperback Edition Used edition (February 7, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804173524
- ISBN-13: 978-0804173520
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 322 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man Paperback – February 7, 2014
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“Reads like a le Carré novel crossed with something by Kafka. . . . A fast-paced, almost novelistic narrative. . . . [The book] gives readers . . . a succinct overview of the momentous events of the past year. . . . Leave[s] readers with an acute understanding of the serious issues involved.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“[Snowden’s] story is one of the most compelling in the history of American espionage. . . . The Snowden Files, by Luke Harding, a correspondent for the Guardian newspaper, which broke the initial Snowden story, is the first to assemble the sequence of events in a single volume. The book captures the drama of Snowden’s operation in often-cinematic detail. . . . Harding has delivered a clearly written and captivating account of the Snowden leaks and their aftermath.”
—The Washington Post
“Engaging and lucid. . . . A gripping read. . . . Harding is a gifted writer. . . . The strength of Harding's book is its ability to bring Snowden's story to life while elucidating the contours of a much larger set of issues. . . . In rendering the complicated comprehensible in an entertaining way, Harding's book provides an important public service.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“The Snowden Files, the first book on what British journalist Luke Harding calls ‘the biggest intelligence leak in history,’ is a readable and thorough account. The narrative is rich in newsroom details, reflecting Harding's inside access as a correspondent for the London-based Guardian newspaper, which broke the story. . . . The writer deserves unqualified praise for fueling the debate on privacy that Snowden so hoped to ignite.”
“A super-readable, thrillerish account of the events surrounding the reporting of the documents. . . . Harding has done an amazing—and speedy—job of assembling material from a wide variety of sources and turning it into an exciting account.”
—The London Review of Books
"The Snowden Files is a one-stop shop, covering his formative years, the government jobs that would eventually give him access, and even the development of the data-gathering programs he exposed to the world. It’s as impressive in its execution as it is infuriating to revisit how much government manipulation and duplicity was involved. (Harding does an equally thorough job explaining the role played by the UK’s version of the NSA—the GCHQ—and their appallingly thuggish actions as the news stories broke.) . . . Harding is unflinchingly honest. . . . [He] ask[s] hard questions about the consequences of Snowden’s actions. While Harding is a Snowden supporter, he’s hardly a blind one."
—San Francisco Book Review
“A newsworthy, must-read book about what prompted Edward Snowden to blow the whistle on his former employer, the National Security Agency, and what likely awaits him for having done so. . . . Whether you view Snowden’s act as patriotic or treasonous, this fast-paced, densely detailed book is the narrative of first resort.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Engaging. . . . Harding’s well-researched and compelling book is highly recommended.”
“Recounts the incredible story of how Snowden becomes angry about the abuses he says he witnessed inside the system, resolves to pull off a stunning electronic heist by downloading the NSA’s and its partners’ most sensitive files, and gives them to journalists he has persuaded to meet him in Hong Kong. Harding captures nicely the moment when The Guardian pushes the button on its first Snowden story, an intense, adrenaline-filled cocktail of high-minded journalistic zeal and the sheer thrill of publishing sensitive information.”
About the Author
Luke Harding is an award-winning foreign correspondent with the Guardian. He has reported from Delhi, Berlin and Moscow and has also covered wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is the author of Mafia State and co-author of WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy (2011) and The Liar: The Fall of Jonathan Aitken (1997), nominated for the Orwell Prize. The film rights to WikiLeaks were sold to Dreamworks and the film, "The Fifth Estate," came out in 2013. His books have been translated into 13 languages. Luke lives in England with his wife and their two children.
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Edward Snowden risked his life and gave up a very comfortable life for the sake of his country. I couldn't admire him more.
According to The Snowden Files, our own gov't has eviscerated our constitiution's fourth ammendment. You know - the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure? Only one of the reasons we left England in the first place... You know - TO BE A FREE COUNTRY?? Well think again. The NSA is big brother and this is 1984. They will no doubt be scanning this review. And not like it. And, just what will be next, in the name of so-called security? Losing the right to free speech?
Many people are so afraid of terrorists (a fear sadly over-instilled in us by the media and the gov't for their own selfish gains), that they would give up all their rights to privacy. I've heard people say, "Well, if you're not doing anything wrong, who cares if they spy on us, if it will keep up safe?" First, the actions of the squeakiest-clean of people can be EASILY misconstrued. And then you are accused of god knows what, have your life ruined, are carted off to jail or god forbid get rendition. Don't think it doesn't happen.
Second, I'm sorry but if you're human, you would not want your private communications displayed for the world to see in the name of a False sense of security. As of this book's writing, what did the gov't get for the MASSIVE spying it did on its own citizens and its allies around the world? Not one shred of information leading to a credible plot on this soil. Still think it's worth giving up your privacy?
Of course let's not forget the petty actions of various NSA members and others who read the emails and communications of their spouses and boy/girlfriends. Lovely.
Read the book. Then read others on the subject and make up your mind how you want to live.
This is the greatest country in the world. It was built on the ideals of FREEDOM. Don't let runaway fear make up your mind for you.
Half the people in Congress are there for ego, money and power. They have completely ignored the fact that gov't work is a SERVICE JOB. They are supposed to represent the will of the people. We The People!
It kind of feels like something written from the point of view of the Guardian and their involvement with Snowden and the now legendary encounter between him and their newspaper agency. There isn't much left out to Snowden's story, I felt, in this book either. You get a whole picture of who Snowden is, what he did, why he did it, and a glimpse into his possible future which at this moment I write the review, feels very uncertain. In other words, this is by no means going to be an outdated book in a few years, but rather something that I feel is very relevant to the times we live in. Snowden did what he thought was right, and the debate still rages on as to whether or not what he did amounts to treason and illegal possession of government property, or something that illuminated just much of a reach the government of the United States has into our personal lives via their domination of the digital universe that we all live in. This book explores both sides of the argument, and also showcases a lot of the responses from the key people involved with Snowden's story, from beginning to end.
I think my only gripe with this book, and it's a small one, is that I felt at times the book tended to get bogged down with a lot of discussion about The Guardian and their internal struggles that resulted from Snowden seeking to involve them in breaking his story to the world. It just felt a little too extraneous at times, as though 30 pages could've been cut out of this book to make it a much faster-paced read. If you like details though, then you'll have no problem with this book, and I suppose with all the stuff written about The Guardian.
All in all, this is an exceptional read. I recommend it to anyone who is curious to know Snowden's story.