It began with a tantalizing, anonymous email: "I am a senior member of the intelligence community."
What followed was the most spectacular intelligence breach ever, brought about by one extraordinary man. Edward Snowden was a 29-year-old computer genius working for the National Security Agency when he shocked the world by exposing the near-universal mass surveillance programs of the United States government. His whistleblowing has shaken the leaders of nations worldwide, and generated a passionate public debate on the dangers of global monitoring and the threat to individual privacy.
In a tour de force of investigative journalism that reads like a spy novel, award-winning Guardian reporter Luke Harding tells Snowden's astonishing story - from the day he left his glamorous girlfriend in Honolulu carrying a hard drive full of secrets, to the weeks of his secret-spilling in Hong Kong, to his battle for asylum and his exile in Moscow. For the first time, Harding brings together the many sources and strands of the story - touching on everything from concerns about domestic spying to the complicity of the tech sector - while also placing us in the room with Edward Snowden himself. The result is a gripping insider narrative - and a necessary and timely account of what is at stake for all of us in the new digital age.
"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)
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