In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency's widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security and information privacy. As the arguments rage on and the government considers various proposals for reform, it is clear that we have yet to see the full impact of Snowden's disclosures.
Now for the first time, Greenwald fits all the pieces together, recounting his high-intensity 10-day trip to Hong Kong, examining the broader implications of the surveillance detailed in his reporting for The Guardian, and revealing fresh information on the NSA's unprecedented abuse of power with never-before-seen documents entrusted to him by Snowden himself. Going beyond NSA specifics, Greenwald also takes on the establishment media, excoriating their habitual avoidance of adversarial reporting on the government and their failure to serve the interests of the people. Finally, he asks what it means both for individuals and for a nation's political health when a government pries so invasively into the private lives of its citizens - and considers what safeguards and forms of oversight are necessary to protect democracy in the digital age.
Coming at a landmark moment in American history, No Place to Hide is a fearless, incisive, and essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S. surveillance state.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2014 Glenn Greenwald (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I enjoyed the book although the voice I had to get into. It started off well and an interesting story. However chapter 5 and 6 included more acronyms than can be found in silican valley and so listening to it did not really work. Might have been better to have read it instead.
The inside story and a fantastic analysis of the not sure much the data but the reaction to that data and the imprecations of the data leak.
As I listened (to the bitter end) I kept wishing that I indeed had some place to hide ... from this book, which drips with paranoia, megalomania and contempt. The author seems to have a desperate longing to imagine himself and his fellows as the heroes of an international intrigue. Many of hIs general and specific claims about The Authorities listening in on their every move (indeed he claims that The Authorities are always monitoring the activities of us all) are belied by many of the events that he describes occurring in the lead up to the publishing of materials leaked to him by Snowden. And all this is written in tedious detail with a "he said, she said"-style narrative to pad out the book. Snowden chose - and played - him, and his fellows, very well.
This book probably should have been a magazine article or, at most, a book about 10 pages long, or about 10 minutes long in audible form, rather than the almost ten insufferably long hours that it is.
Possibly the most annoying thing about the way the book was written is the exceedingly repetitive nature of the presentation of the material leaked by Snowden.
The performers voice, accent and tone were equally annoying, smug and melodramatic and, thus, well suited to the material.
This is the second worse book I've read in at least a decade.
"Best Read in Print Format"
I liked the inside look at the NSA revelations and feel that this is a great book, on the whole. However, the preponderance of NSA documents that are included, verbatim, in the text makes the audiobook suffer significantly. I don't know how many times I heard the phrase "REL to USA, NO FORN" or "TS/SCI". While I recognize that the documents themselves are an important part of the story Greenwald is telling, I think that such a format lends itself better to being read in print rather than having dozens and dozens of memos narrated to you.
The first third of the book wherein Greenwald describes initially meeting Snowden and the events that led up to the NSA revelations.
I think the narrator did a fine job and I was happy with his performance.
"Exhilarating, infuriating, cannot stop listening"
I have not read the print version
Mr. Greenwald and Mr. Ganser have perfectly captured how unreal the experience of meeting Snowden felt. It really feels like you're listening to a fictional spy story and when it's all true it sends shivers through your spine.
I have not. This one was excellent though.
I have been aware of these type of things being done by the NSA for some years now and when the Snowden revelations started to surface in the mainstream media I felt relieved and vindicated. Now that I listen to this audiobook I just feel excited about the story and angry and frustrated about the details.
Better reserve some time because this audiobook won't let you go for hours.
"Excellent! Engaging, thoughtful, and illuminating"
This is a very well-written book, that works well as an audiobook as well because of its fast pace and engaging material. I followed the NSA revelations closely, but this book gives more depth and context. It's as much a book about the fragile state of journalism as it is about the pervasiveness of surveillance. A no-brainer for a download, and one of the five-star audiobooks that also justify a print version in my home library.
"Not what I was expecting"
I wanted to hear the back story of Edward Snowden. I wanted to hear about his life before, during, and after his disclosures. Snowden is discussed in the 1st quarter of the book but even this is superficial. The rest of the book discusses privacy and the NSA documents. I found this repetitive and boring. I also felt that Glenn Greenwald painted himself very favorably and so, to me, this book rang a little self serving and preachy.
"Doesn't translate well to audiobook format."
When he's not talking about the NSA, this is a book by Glenn Greenwald about Glenn Greenwald. It makes all the mentions of Mr. Snowden very interesting, as the juxtaposition between Mr. Greenwald writing about himself and his own flaws and Mr. Greenwald writing about Mr. Snowden creates an image of "Snowden as savior." I'm not saying this negatively, as I respect Mr. Snowden. This Snowden as savior theme kept running through my head while I was listening to the first chapter, and I am very curious if Mr. Greenwald's focus on himself amps the savior image.
I feel like this is sighted privilege, but much of the book doesn't seem to be written to be read out loud. The author starts backing up his claims with block quotes starting in the middle of chapter 2. These block quotes are full of acronyms and the way they are interspersed with the text break the flow of narration. It's something that I would happily have in front of me, but is pretty difficult to follow on your car stereo. That said, this is more of a problem with the text and the way it can be performed than the narrator himself.
Informative. Makes you want to live off the grid.
"In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
"Important Book For Our Times"
There are so many people with an opinion on Snowden who know nothing about his reasons and motivation and confuse him with Julian Assange, or buy into a misinformed biased portrait painted of him by vested interests. Most of them are not the type of people who will listen to this book, happy with the propaganda they have been fed. If you are dismissive of his actions, this book may change your mind. If it doesn't then at least you have now made an informed appraisal of the issues and his sacrifice of a well paying job and a comfortable life over an ideal that is enshrined in the U.S. constitution.
There are a couple of middle chapters that offer detailed proofs that my be fine for the printed page but are painful to listen to - like listening to someone recite a laundry list. I had to skip past these, but that did not detract from the overall effect of the book and for me it was a very good investment of a book credit.
I had some misgivings about Snowden that were answered by this book. Daniel Ellsberg who was despised many years ago at the time he leaked important information about Nixon and later was vindicated and honored has said that Snowden is his hero. In my opinion if you despise Snowden you should read this book to see if you are going to be on the wrong side of history.
"Agree or Disagree, Everyone Should Read This"
This book begins like a mystery novel and expands into a wide ranging expose of the NSA documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. It then concludes with an expansive analysis and critique of the NSA, government officials, and, especially, the mainstream media.
I began this book with few preconceptions where it would lead. I was highly disturbed by revelations regarding the NSA, but also cognizant of the real danger posed by terrorism.
One thing that comes through from the outset is Snowden's sincere belief in what he did and his courage. As Greenwald points out repeatedly, Snowden made no effort to conceal his involvement and knew that doing so would almost certainly ruin his previously comfortable life.
The revelations regarding the NSA and the prior deception regarding the scope of its program--and the rather complete lack of meaningful oversight--are highly disturbing. Why does the NSA believe it needs to "collect everything" instead of using a targeted approach focusing on likely sources of danger?
Greenwald is at his best in making the case against mass surveillance. As he points out persuasively, people modify their behavior just by the threat of surveillance, and mass surveillance is the antithesis of a free society as history should have already taught us time and again.
Greenwald also makes impressive indictments against politicians who regularly and reflexively defend surveillance no matter how absurdly broad and unfocused it may be. And the Constitution gets lost in the wringer of life inside the Beltway.
Greenwald also swings for the fences and delivers in his indictment of the mainstream media. The mainstream media consist of lapdogs, pliantly doing the bidding of politicians. As Greenwald points out, the Obama Administration has not only carried on the Bush era programs, but has expanded them, with rarely an eyebrow raised in the media, especially a fawning media that (until recently at least) was willing to swallow and parrot whatever drivel the Administration chose to peddle.
Greenwald gets off target, in my judgment, in criticizing the NSA for studying the economic interests of foreign nations and industries in foreign nations. Of course the NSA (and the State Department) need to be fully aware of the such interests, as they often define policy interests and drive foreign policy decisions. This is far different than spying on all Americans.
Greenwald also, in my judgment, loses momentum in minimizing the threat posed by terrorism, particularly violent Islamic terrorism. While it may be true that a person (at least to date) is more likely to die of a lightning strike than in a terrorist attack, Greenwald ignores the damage that, for example, the 9/11 attacks did to the U.S. economy and our way of life. The reality is that it made a big difference. Greenwald's argument also pales--if not seems somewhat naive--in light of ISIS and other powder kegs around the world.
So perhaps Greenwald overstates in a few instances and gets off track in others. That does not detract from the importance of this book and the importance of what Snowden--with the help of Greenwald--revealed about what our government is doing to us.
"Starts strong, but slows down fast"
Got bogged down in the details
I really liked the idea of the story. It was very compelling to read the why and how about Edward Snowden.
This book started out strong. Obviously the author has his agenda, and he does not shy away from that. It was intriguing and insightful, but then it ran into so many details, especially as the narrator would read samples of the leaked documents. The redeeming thing was that I bought the book to listen to on a long flight, and I was literally put to sleep during that phase of the book. So, that was nice.
The clarity and focus of the writing and delivery was riveting. I learned a lot about the tactics that the US government can stoop to and the vigilance that citizens must exercise to maintain their privacy.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.