The saga of Edward J. Snowden, the man whose leaked documents revealed the Orwellian dimensions of the National Security Agency, reads like a le Carré novel crossed with something by Kafka - at least it does in Luke Harding's new book, The Snowden Files
... But the book still gives readers, who have not been following the Snowden story closely, a succinct overview of the momentous events of the past year. And if it leans toward dramatizing everything in thrillerlike terms, the book also manages to leave readers with an acute understanding of the serious issues involved: the N.S.A.'s surveillance activities and voluminous collection of data, and the consequences that this sifting of bigger and bigger haystacks for tiny needles has had on the public and its right to privacy. (Michiko Kakutani New York Times
Luke Harding's breathless page-turner ... reads more like a spy thriller than a piece of dry political analysis ... this is a riveting read and it unravels the mystery better than anything that's been published so far. (David Runciman The Guardian
The Snowden Files - as the iPhone episode suggests - is a super-readable, thrillerish account of the events surrounding the reporting of the documents, with a few interludes sketching out what some of the stories have revealed ... Harding has done an amazing - and speedy - job of assembling material from a wide variety of sources and turning it into an exciting account. (Daniel Soar London Review of Books
'Harding's account of how the leaks came to be published is thrilling, full of intrigue, last-minute flights, secret meetings and heroic hacks and editors ... it is a vital account of the story of the decade and the issue of our age: when our lives are lived on wires, how safe are we from those who would use our private information against us, whether criminals, foreign agents or our own governments? (Padraig Ready The Irish Times
Without one man's courage and a life-altering decision, millions would never know about this most secret abuse of power by the intelligence agencies. This is the story of our age, brilliantly told. (Henry Porter)
In The Snowden Files, Luke Harding tells the story of Edward Snowden and the individuals behind the biggest leak in history.