As many as 1.4 million citizens with security clearance saw some or all of the same documents that would later be leaked by Edward Snowden. Why did he, and no one else, decide to step forward and take on the risks associated with becoming a whistleblower and then a fugitive? To address this question, Rall delves into Snowden's early life and work experience, his personality, and the larger issues of privacy, new surveillance technologies, and government intrusion. He describes Snowden's political vision and hopes for the future. In a way, this is a book that tells two stories: Snowden's own, and also a larger one in which we all find ourselves on the threshold of tremendous technological upheaval and political change.
Snowden is a portrait of a brave young man standing up to the most powerful government in the world and, if not winning, at least reaching a stand-off. It's an invitation to us all to measure our courage and listen to our consciences in asking ourselves what we might have done in his shoes.
These days, a lot of people are talking about Guernica, the online magazine of ideas, art, poetry, and fiction. They’ve published great writing from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tariq Ali, Rivka Galchen, Jesse Ball, and Porochista Khakpour, to name an eclectic few. And they also put great work online and for free, providing a blueprint for how a great journal can thrive in the digital age.
What people may not know is that Guernica also publishes an annual book showcasing some of their best work. This year’s volume 2 includes:
Blackness as the Second Person: An interview with poet and recent MacArthur ‘Genius Grant’ winner Claudia Rankine
The Rise and Fall of Public Housing in NYC: A moving personal history of the Parkside Houses by Richard Price
How to Be a Woman in Tehran: Habibe Jafarian on the respect due to those who choose to stay
Girl: Alexander Chee on not knowing who you are until you put on a mask
Unwanted Alive: J. Malcolm Garcia on the deportation of U.S. veterans
and Pull Back to Reveal: An interview with Ben Wizner, privacy advocate and legal advisor to Edward Snowden
The volume also includes new work from Masha Gessen, a conversation with Maggie Nelson, and fiction from Alexandra Kleeman. All proceeds go toward compensating writers and editors, and keeping Guernica’s award-winning online content free to all.