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The Snowden Files Audiobook

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2014 Luke Harding (P)2014 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    matthew 03-05-15
    matthew 03-05-15 Listener Since 2008

    I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile

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    "we are all being scrutinized"

    The biggest takeaway with this book is that the virtual world is not governed by the Constitution, so Obama and Bush don't care about your privacy. The major software companies, Apple being one of the last, gave back door access to the NSA. It is all legal in their minds. In today's news we see China complaining about this back door access. You can bet that the entire G-20 wants to protect their little fraternity. Whatever we think we have these guys have something that can probably read minds by now. Maybe we will all become some sort of cyber zombies? I pound into this iPad 5 hours a day with endless drivel. It is reshaping my thinking. The machines really are too much. You are not anonymous, so don't ever feel that way. Big Brother is watching. Down with Big Brother. Power to the people!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Man from Van 03-18-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Important Book"

    Very good book. I also listened to Glenn Greenwald's book on the same topic. Both are definitely worth a listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Lopez 08-01-15
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    "Ed Snowden's Patriotism Delivered U.S. From Evil"

    Everyone that uses or has any information online needs to know about these numerous revelations!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tokind 04-21-15
    tokind 04-21-15 Member Since 2009

    Wizard Pretender

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    "Scope and Substance."

    This account match my understanding of the sequence of events, but I enjoyed learning more about reactions outside of the US and UK!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amazonman 11-24-14
    amazonman 11-24-14

    I love to learn and share whatever excellence I discover in the process

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    "This is not Black & White: Privacy vs Security"
    Where does The Snowden Files rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Edward Snowden is an enigmatic figure as described in this account. Should freedom-loving people empathize with the moral dilemma he faced whether to "out" the US and UK's extensive surveillance capabilities which clearly crossed the line beyond constitutional boundaries with respect to private citizens? At the same time, should we be asking how can he do this and align himself with manipulative nations and parties whose own history of human rights abuses are far worse than those of this nation he supposedly loves? Was there a better, possibly more courageous way to make his case- and one that would not result in such terrible damage to the US? Ultimately, time and history will tell whether Edward Snowden acted as a patriot, or as a traitor. Some things that seem black and white are not always so simple.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The description of how one single young man without a high school degree or extensive experience could be entrusted with such wide-ranging classified and top secret information. Stranger than fiction.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The Truth about Living in the Digital Age. Just as you always suspected: Everything you say and everything you write is being Recorded.


    Any additional comments?

    In an open society, there will always be crucial debates about the trade-offs between personal privacy and security. There will always be debates about whether the "ends" justify the "means" when it comes to security. These are among the most compelling and important topics of our day and age.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ben 09-29-16
    ben 09-29-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great True Story"

    Great story, it is very informative. I will be looking for other versions of this story to find more information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Yates 08-15-16
    S. Yates 08-15-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Mostly objective, sometimes melodramatic"
    Any additional comments?

    Solid journalistic telling of Edward Snowden's exposure of extralegal surveillance by the NSA. The book reads well and offers some perspective that was not possible to get in real time as one headline after another assaulted the world. While the author sometimes seems a bit dramatic (which can color the objectivity of certain passages), overall the facts and events are recounted with a fair amount of balance. Because the book was written after most of the repercussions had time to play out, the author has the chance to highlight where government explanations and excuses did not completely line up with the data provided. A bonus in the book, at least for readers not entirely familiar with law, journalism and freedom of press in the UK (which I, admittedly, was not), is a comparison of the relationship of government to the press compared and contrasted in the US and the UK. All in all, a readable accounting of the Snowden affair, with the end (i.e., Snowden's ultimate fate) yet to be written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 08-10-16
    Richard 08-10-16 Member Since 2009
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    "Fills in a lot of gaps for thing I did not know."
    What made the experience of listening to The Snowden Files the most enjoyable?

    To read along with the paperback copy of the book, first time I did it, and I really enjoyed it.The updated version of the paperback has an extra chapter.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    How the Germany is a more like a safe haven, especially for those who like to reveal top secrets like Laura Poitras. Oliver Stone film most of the UN scenes in Germany.


    Any additional comments?

    In January 2016, I knew Oliver Stone was making a movie, base on this book. I let it rest till I finish another book.But when Tim Cook of Apple announced his concerns for the security of the iOS software, I dump the other book, and started reading this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JamroK 05-31-16
    JamroK 05-31-16
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    "had my attention the entire time"

    will be listening to this multiple times. took me a few weeks to complete, but had my attention every time I listened to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher F. Wilson Torrance, CA 10-21-15
    Christopher F. Wilson Torrance, CA 10-21-15 Member Since 2010

    We read in the car, alternating fiction and non fiction. Read CDs from library, MP3s from library, plus items from Audible. Presently interested in history, economics, biographies, general fiction, science fiction, college lectures, meditation, lucid dreaming, positive psychology.

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    "Eye opening"

    Sorry to say the spying infrastructure is huge, troubling, and subject to abuse. Would love to see US apply 4th Amendment worldwide, regardless of nationality. Thankfully there are provisions for specific warrants from public courts. USG should use those provisions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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