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Permanent Record

Narrated by: Holter Graham
Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (2,149 ratings)

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Summary

Edward Snowden, the man who risked everything to expose the US government’s system of mass surveillance, reveals for the first time the story of his life, including how he helped to build that system and what motivated him to try to bring it down. 

In 2013, 29-year-old Edward Snowden shocked the world when he broke with the American intelligence establishment and revealed that the United States government was secretly pursuing the means to collect every single phone call, text message, and email. The result would be an unprecedented system of mass surveillance with the ability to pry into the private lives of every person on earth. Six years later, Snowden reveals for the very first time how he helped to build this system and why he was moved to expose it. 

Spanning the bucolic Beltway suburbs of his childhood and the clandestine CIA and NSA postings of his adulthood, Permanent Record is the extraordinary account of a bright young man who grew up online – a man who became a spy, a whistleblower, and, in exile, the Internet’s conscience. Written with wit, grace, passion, and an unflinching candor, Permanent Record is a crucial memoir of our digital age and destined to be a classic. 

©2019 Edward Snowden (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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Superbly written, totally gripping.

I can't recommend it highly enough. I imagine just about everyone on the planet knows the general gist of Edward Snowden's story and his place in history. I followed his story carefully, watched interviews, watched Citizenfour, and the Stone movie. But the details revealed in this book still made my jaw drop. I had to replay several sections to make sure I wasn't hearing things.Truly scary stuff. Snowden, I'm sure, was an extremely meticulous programmer/analyst/administrator. That fact doesn't necessarily guarantee he's going to be a good writer. But he most certainly is; the writing is superb, beautifully crafted, compelling stuff. I've had a career in IT, so the technical stuff was of great interest to me. And it's detailed so clearly that someone without a technical background would still understand it. The narration is excellent too, read by someone who seems to genuinely understand what he's reading, and to convey it 'from the heart'. An absolute must-read/must listen. And if, in writing this review, I've now appeared on some watch list somewhere: great! - I'm in excellent company!

18 people found this helpful

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such a great insight into Edward Snowdens life

I loved the book and just couldn't put it down, it gave a real insight to him growing and getting to where he is today. He is a very clever man and one that will go down in the history books! To Ed, thank you for sharing your stories and your adventures and I hope you and Lindsey live happily. To NSA/CIA thanks for listening and looking up my nose! 👍🏼

12 people found this helpful

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Beyond Belief

If this was a fiction work you would’ve said it’s a bit far fetched. The fact that the US Government is upset at this book’s release says it all. Technical details are explained in a clear & engaging manner. It’s very well written and was hard to put down. My favourite book of the year. It’s very important to be informed.

8 people found this helpful

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Unbelievable

The fight for privacy as a basic human right continues! I feel complete administration for Snowden, risking everything to stand for truth! I hope to meet him one day!

8 people found this helpful

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Thoughtful, eye opening, very personal biography

What a great listen. A great book with a tremendous true story. Hard to put down. Turkey world changing

7 people found this helpful

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Listen to this!

A fascinating insight into the truth behind the headlines as well as into Snowden himself. With the daily flow of news we often lack the perspective to see how events lead one to another, and Snowden does a good job of trying to explain in straightforward language how 9/11 and the political changes - not just in the US, but globally - in the subsequent years, opened the way to intelligence gathering on a massive and indiscriminate scale. For those who think that privacy is something on which we can compromise or - worse still - a commodity, this is a cautionary account.

5 people found this helpful

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Very enjoyable and informative

I highly recommend this book. It went into enough detail to document how/why/what next for Ed the famous whistleblower

4 people found this helpful

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A good summary

Enough detail to provide context. Some interesting asides. Not so much to be gratuitous A good cap on the episode. Hopefully not the end of the story.

4 people found this helpful

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Turnkey Architecture of Oppression

Very easy to read, would recommend this book, very informative. Having read this book, I'm on a list, forever.

6 people found this helpful

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Everyone should read this book

Whatever you think of Ed Snowden's actions, you owe it to yourself to read this book. It gives the listener a fascinating insight into the world of modern spying.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Nelson Jonas/zulaika zurita
  • 28-09-19

Revealing and immensely sad

I loved the whole thing. Learnt quite a bit about the violations performed by governments and private companies on our privacy, but also about the bravery of Edward himself and the sadness of his story. This book has fully opened my half closed eyes and I now feel inspired to do something about the situation. Exactly what I am not sure. We'll see.

6 people found this helpful

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  • David Robinson
  • 05-11-19

History will call him a Hero

When I first saw the breaking news about the leaked documents I called him a traitor, but over time and as more information came to light that view changed. Listening to his story I feel ashamed I ever thought he was a traitor and I would like to think that if i was in his shoes that I would have the courage to do what he did. Privacy is a fundamental right and he will be seen as a hero in the long run. Thank you for your service and what you did.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Joe Cincotta
  • 27-10-19

Compulsory Reading

This book should be compulsory reading for high school students - and I would recommend this book for everyone. An example of how to act aligned with your principles. An eye opening look into the surveillance state and the surveillance economy. A guide to encryption and personal security in a digital world. A thrilling story. A moving memoir. All in one book. Well written, well read (audiobook). My respect for Mr Snowden grew deeper with this book and I enjoyed it immensely.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-10-19

He dared to tell, dare to listen?

This is a very well written testimony, a thrilling story of the citizen Edward Snowden and his choice to tell us about an ongoing attack on our freedom by the systematic collection, storing and processing of our personal data, our personal life’s. Despite his personal cost, he chose to tell the story only he could tell. It is a breathtaking story, that most likely will change the way you feel about your devices and their cameras. It is a story we all should listen to - if you dare.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Miss Valda Petersen
  • 12-11-19

Excellent! Excellent! Excellent!

I absolutely loved this book. If you’re someone with any technology in your life and you’re on social media or online, you need to read this book. Edward Snowden’s story is mind boggling and moving. He has sacrificed so much to do the right thing. 😃 I am also amazed at how much I could relate to his upbringing and his love of tech. His story reminded me of my own journey of discovery and the wonder of getting to know the World Wide Web. His insights on the state of technology and the Internet are thought provoking and I believe quite accurate. 5 stars for this book!

2 people found this helpful

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  • W. Eric
  • 09-10-19

Great book, fantastic narration

I was long waiting to understand the man and his ideologies behind Edward Snowden. The storyline and -structure is captivating from the beginning to the end. Every point he makes to justify his actions, is completely valid and demonstrates very well how corrupt and broken our system is. I can only press anyone to read or listen to this book

2 people found this helpful

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  • michael atkinson
  • 29-11-19

Classic

excellent book. 10 times better than Snowden movie. hes a real life hero. would of been better if he had of voiced it himself

1 person found this helpful

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  • Con Tsonis PhD
  • 24-11-19

Excellent

Excellent account. Great to learn more about who he was and why he risked everything! Brave to do what he did. Thank you Edward.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-11-19

Beautiful truth

This book makes thnk twice about being on my device and how i should be aware this happening

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-19

Just what the World Needed.

If you use a smartphone, buy this book. If you use a laptop, buy this book . If you are living in the 21st century, buy this book.

1 person found this helpful