How America Lost Its Secrets

  • by Edward Jay Epstein
  • Narrated by Michael Bybee
  • 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A groundbreaking exposé that convincingly challenges the popular image of Edward Snowden as hacker turned avenging angel, while revealing how vulnerable our national security systems have become - as exciting as any political thriller, and far more important.
After details of American government surveillance were published in 2013, Edward Snowden, formerly a subcontracted IT analyst for the NSA, became the center of an international controversy: Was he a hero, traitor, whistle-blower, spy? Was his theft legitimized by the nature of the information he exposed? When is it necessary for governmental transparency to give way to subterfuge?
Edward Jay Epstein brings a lifetime of journalistic and investigative acumen to bear on these and other questions, delving into both how our secrets were taken and the man who took them. He makes clear that by outsourcing parts of our security apparatus, the government has made classified information far more vulnerable; how Snowden sought employment precisely where he could most easily gain access to the most sensitive classified material; and how, though he claims to have acted to serve his country, Snowden is treated as a prized intelligence asset in Moscow, his new home.

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What the Critics Say

"Powerful and convincing." (The Hollywood Reporter)
"In addition to giving a full and nuanced portrait of the man himself, Epstein details the shattering impact Snowden's theft and famous June 9, 2013, video announcement has had on the agency and the intelligence community worldwide. A riveting and informative work for both Snowden watchers and espionage buffs." (Booklist)
"Nuanced...A wild and harrowing detective story and impressively evenhanded portrait of a very sticky case." (Kirkus)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An important book during a critical time

Ripped from the headlines here is the story that has captivated a nation .. the theft of national secrets. The author did a great job writing this book. It asks the question should the govt keep secrets from the public or risk it being leaked?
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- Leland

Excellent and well-researched depiction

This book was extremely well-researched. The author explored many many different angles to the story and seems to present a very unbiased depiction of what occurred and what America lost because of Snowden. I learned a lot about this case, American and international espionage, and our intelligence agencies.
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- Js Mom

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-17-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio