As promised here is my review of "Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy: WikiLeaks" by David Leigh and Luke Harding, published by Guardian Books in 2011. Read on ...
First of all the good part. The authors were in on WikiLeaks almost from the very beginning, and do give a good insider's view of what and how things happened at the time. At the same time, this caused some lack of trust on my part since they were so personally close to the material. We do get great character portraits of the people involved, especially Julian Assange who is made out in the book as having a serious rock star complex, but also being motivated by genuine concern for our society. We get to see some of the bad blood and the ins and outs of relations between WikiLeaks and representatives from various MSM including The Guardian and The New York Times.
And that's about all she wrote, believe it or not. No in depth analysis. No attempt to take our understanding a bit further. Beyond the human relations aspect and the mini-biographies/exposés of the various actors, nada. It is a pretty short read that left me rather disappointed. So short in fact that they had to add a huge 80 page appendix at the end of it of easily retrievable and well known leaks that to be honest added nothing and most of which were rather inane. The biggest thing I took away from the book was the citation I made in my previous blog post.
Was it worth the price of admission ? Well for me personally, not really. If you want to delve shallowly into the human relations between the various actors in this short episode in international politics and journalism, with a few light character sketches and absolutely no real analysis or criticism, then this is probably as good as any other book on the subject, with the caveat that there may very well be quite a bit of bias on the part of the authors.