Book Review: “How America Lost Its Secrets” by Edward Jay Epstein

How America Lost Its Secrets by Edward Jay Epstein

Edward Jay Epstein presents a fascinating investigation of the Edward Snowden affair. This book is even more timely, as Snowden is making noises about wanting to return home.

Epstein digs beyond the Hollywood version, seeking to understand full story. He has discovered a gripping story, with many unanswered questions. It reads like a spy thriller—which it is.

As in any case involving espionage, much of the picture is obscured by secrecy and deception. Snowden himself has created a version of the story, in his own statements, and in prize winning documentary and popular film. But these accounts are incomplete and far from satisfying.

The US government has consistently maintained a different story, reporting that Snowden stole vast amounts of secret data, much having nothing to do with domestic surveillance. The stolen information appears to have ended up in the hands of Russian and Chinese intelligence agencies, with serious consequences for US intelligence gathering. Aiding repressive foreign super powers is not exactly the act of a patriotic whistleblower.

Epstein raises a lot of imporant questions about Edward Snowden’s actions and motives. We can’t answer these questions because Snowden is living in Moscow, under the control of the Russian FSB.

[Read the full review]


  1. Edward Jay Epstein, How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, The Man, and the Theft, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.

 

Sunday Thursday Book Reviews

 

Readers of this blog know that I routinely post book reviews on Sunday.

This week I will post additional book reviews, one per day.  These posts are somewhat longer and more detailed than my usual short note.

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