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WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy Paperback – 1 Feb 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Books (1 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852652399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852652398
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A behind-the-scenes adrenalin rush of secret meetings, encrypted websites [and] passwords written on hotel napkins (Metro)

[A] very detailed, highly readable and, yes, rather racy volume. It is a fascinating and forensic analysis (Tribune)

This pair of Guardian journalists provide excellent detail about the mechanics of the Wikileaks operation (Books Of The Year: Politics Sunday Times Culture)

Book Description

The first inside and in-depth account of WikiLeaks

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Fitzpatrick on 29 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a self-congratulatory book by two Guardian journalists about the biggest leak of confidential government information in history brought about by two oddballs, an Australian called Julian Assange and an American serviceman called Bradley Manning.

These two characters managed to exploit the incompetence or complacency of the US military establishment by downloading hundreds of thousands of "secret" diplomatic messages onto pen drives and then publishing them on Assange's Wikileaks site and, in edited form, in some of the world's most famous publications, including the Guardian, NYT, Le Monde, Spiegel etc.

It certainly was an amazing feat and caused not only lots of problems for the American government but also for the journalists who found themselves confronted with the scoop of scoops.

There was so much information available that were they were not only unable to check its veracity but they did not have the resources to filter through it all and make sense of it for readers.

They also had to deal with Assange - who comes over as being a lot smarter than them - who has them dancing to his tune.

In the end, the Guardian - and the other papers - got their "scoops" and patted themselves on the back for exposing information that they, Assange and 22-year-old Manning (the "innocent" victim who is currently in prison unlike any of the others) felt the public should have.

The writers brush aside any idea that by publishing this information, they put anyone in danger. The Guardian editor claims that six months after the leaks "the sky has not fallen in".

I presume this means he believes no individuals in places like the Middle East have been identified and targeted as a result.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Davo H on 3 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
I don't agree that this book reads like sleazy tabloid journalism; it's better written than that and it has more integrity, just.

Sure, it's a shameless cash-in on the part of the Guardian, and it's dramatised to such an extent that it reads like a bad novel in places.

But...

It's an easy, entertaining read and if you tackle it with your eyes firmly open to its partisan position, some interesting background information can be teased out.

The Wikileaks `drama' raises some big questions which don't have easy answers. If you're interested in those questions and want your opinion to be as informed as possible, then this is worth picking up. You just have to take it with a healthy dose of cynicism.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Olga Fedina on 13 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
As a member of the public who is following the Wikileaks drama (disinterested, but not dispassionate), I would like to say a few words about The Guardian journalists writings on Assange.

What one notices immediately is the general tone of these writings, not only devoid of any sympathy for the subject, but frankly bilious. Leaving you with an unpleasant taste in your mouth, this tone makes you slightly suspicious as for the authors' motivations and impartiality. It would also disappoint anyone hoping to get an insight into the "enigmatic" Wikileak's founder's human qualities. In fact, the way Julian Assange is presented throughout the book is not as a human at all, but rather as some exotic animal who needs to be constantly "managed" (and is now caged and can be poked at safely). Those few little human interest details about his childhood and youth included in the book can be easily searched for on the Internet (where the authors probably found them).

More than characterising its subject, this book characterises the media world. You do not get any sense of gratitude or recognition from The Guardian for Wikileaks giving it the biggest news stories of the last few decades, on a scale unimaginable to the Guardian's team of "investigative journalists". (Taking on Jonathan Aitken is not quite the same as taking on the Pentagon and the US government). There is no gratitude either for Julian Assange's hard work in taking the physical risks and psychological pressure for getting those news stories out. There is no sense of solidarity with Wikileaks, the organisation that essentially is serving the same purpose as any good newspaper should serve: getting the truth out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J L C on 27 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
For those who feel powerless in the face of enforced austerity, afraid in the face of oppression, small in the face of authoritarian arrogance, this is an essential wake up call.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wikireader on 14 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book lays out the story behind the founding of Wikileaks well but without stating the true underlying philosophy. He author appears more concerned with demonizing Julian Assange than analyzing his motives. This is obviously just a way to cash in on the Wikileaks saga, and I accept that, but this book seems to accomplish nothing other than state sensationalist quotes and anecdotes. This book is terrible.
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By m. dosa on 12 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
assange comes across as the rock god or revolution a player someone who wants liberty and free information but comes across as a dodgy geezer however he delivered a great blow to america self painted picture of its wars.his dealing with people dripped with a form of smugness as he played the media against each other but still allowed himself to be wined and dined.this the media exposure lead to increased resistance against the war ironic the guardian actually supported war.....interesting sketch of media workings and a sad picture of american democracy.is he still in his embassy bedsit i don,t care
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