Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy

Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy

3.5 75
by New York Times
     
 

In 2010, the anti-secrecy organization known as WikiLeaks made headlines around the world when it released thousands of classified U.S. government diplomatic cables and battlefield reports. The New York Times played a crucial role in breaking the WikiLeaks story, and “Open Secrets” is the definitive chronicle of the documents’ release and the…  See more details below

Overview

In 2010, the anti-secrecy organization known as WikiLeaks made headlines around the world when it released thousands of classified U.S. government diplomatic cables and battlefield reports. The New York Times played a crucial role in breaking the WikiLeaks story, and “Open Secrets” is the definitive chronicle of the documents’ release and the controversy that ensued. It includes detailed analyses of the documents by Times correspondents; opinion essays by Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd and others; and the full text of all the cables and war logs posted on The Times's Web site, along with 27 new cables selected for this volume. It also includes an essay in which the executive editor of The Times, Bill Keller, explains how the newspaper came to publish documents obtained by WikiLeaks, and why it did; expanded profiles of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks's founder, and Bradley Manning, the Army private suspected of being his source; and original essays on what the fracas has revealed about American diplomacy and government secrecy. A legal and technological thriller and a primer on world politics, "Open Secrets" is also a field guide to how information and power are wielded today, and why it matters.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Thoughtful analysis of one of the largest leaks of classified information in history—how it happened, what the secret documents say and what it all means.

In its first e-book, the New York Timesbrings welcome order to the chaos of the hundreds of thousands U.S. government documents released last year by the elusive and volatile hacker Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowers' website. In addition to the newspaper's own extensive news and op-ed coverage, including the texts of military and diplomatic documents published on theTimes website, the book has an extended insider's essay on the entire episode byTimesexecutive editor Bill Keller, as well as profiles of both Assange and Army Private Bradley Manning, his suspected source. Keller details his six-month experience working with the "secretive cadre of anti-secrecy vigilantes" known as WikiLeaks, whose release of the candid documents about world leaders and events embarrassed the U.S. government. ATimesteam created a searchable database of the material: 500,000 military dispatches on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and 250,000 confidential cables between the State Department and 270 U.S. embassies and consulates. Keller says the newspaper acted responsibly in publishing the documents, redacting information that might endanger lives. The book includes contrasting views as well as reflections on the episode's implications for the future of secrecy and diplomacy in the digital age. Both Assange and Manning emerge as bright, attention-seeking outsiders from unstable backgrounds. Assange, envisioning WikiLeaks as a new "scientific journalism" allowing people to judge facts for themselves, became increasingly erratic as his notoriety grew. Manning landed in a brig, where he awaits trial. One-third of the book consists of solid, old-fashioned journalism, offering the context and background needed to understand the documents. With links to cables and images, a helpful glossary and an appendix of significant photographs, the text takes full advantage of the capabilities of the e-book format.

An important book that gives coherence to a massive data dump.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780615439570
Publisher:
The New York Times Company
Publication date:
01/26/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,043,127
File size:
13 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Alexander Star is the senior editor of The New York Times Book Review.

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Open Secrets: WikiLeaks, War and American Diplomacy 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Coffeecat More than 1 year ago
I was reading the New York Times online when I saw the headline "Dealing With Assange and the Secrets He Spilled." It was a long article, but I was captivated by the story - it was something straight out of a Stieg Larsson novel. So I was happy to see that the NYT was selling this e-book. It is a great read, and really gives an insight into how newspapers interact with shadowy sources like Julian Assange. It was also interesting to see how the relationship between the NYT and Assange deteriorated over time. Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in how transparency works in this day and age.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
An astonishing collection of articles, cables, photos, and references to the Wikileaks cable dump of U.S. secrets, all hyperlinked for easy navigation in an ebook format. I wasn't able to keep up with the wiki-secrets when they came out, but time has shown the extraordinary impact they have had on foreign affairs and inter-country relations. The NYT magazine cover article for January 26, 2011 gives an abridged version of the introduction to Open Secrets but it is the referenced material that makes this such a great volume. Finally I get to see the cables that everyone talked about, without searching them out for myself. Novelists and reporters are going to be using the source materials shown here for many years, I expect. What I especially liked is hearing what the editors and reporters at the NYTimes thought when they were landed with the opportunity to print U.S. government secrets, what they did, and how they proceeded, given the extraordinary circumstances: two wars, an unstable (possibly unhinged) source, and the inflammatory nature of the documents themselves. Finally we have an ebook worthy of the name. Material is hyperlinked forward and backward, so checking cable sources and references is relatively easy. At least two videos (of U.S. helicopters firing on a crowd and a building in Baghdad in 2007), full and edited verison, are embedded with links. The best way to read this would be on a computer, but I used a NOOKcolor and it worked well (no video, alas). I might remind those of you interested in having this ebook stored on your computer that the software to read this is free and a quick and easy download from this site.
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SpeedVX More than 1 year ago
I've just finished slogging through Open Secrets, the wide ranging compilation of the New York Times coverage of the Wikileaks leaks of hundreds of thousands of secret American war and diplomatic documents. There are two ways to read this book. One is to simply read the essays and articles that make up the essence of the book. That is an illuminating 476 pages of fine NYT writing. But if ypu do that, you'll miss out on experiencing the vast majority of the over 1500 page book, which is packed woith the raw leaks themselves. I chose to read the book by starting with the articles and essays and when a link to a Wikileaks document was provided I followed it. Admittedly, this leads to a disjointed stye of reading but I found it fascinating to read the supporting material and then read the conclusions being drawn by the writers. All in all, a fascinating look through a pivotal time in world and journalisitc history.
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