WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy
by David Leigh & Luke Harding, pub. 2011, 250 pps.
Sneak Peek: For book info, click FB link
What I learned from this book
I learned that a few tidbits that I thought I’d already known previously. First, I forgot how many supporters Assange had in the courtroom in England. My recollection from afar was that the world basically considered him to be an outsider or persona non grata, when, in fact, he became more of a cult-like figure – adorned with big-name stars and even a few groupies in tow. Second, I wasn’t aware of how targeted Hillary Clinton was during the dawn of WikiLeaks. It is almost surreal to read some of the descriptions of how her enemies plotted her demise. It gives a different perspective to the 2016 election and all that has taken place since.
What I liked about this book
I liked the way the authors laid out Mr. Assange’s childhood/ upbringing and showed how his experiences during youth lays an accurate and detailed groundwork for the type of figure he ultimately became. Basically, no matter what side you are on with respect to how and what Julian Julian Assange does (and has done) with WikiLeaks, it is more easily understood the elements of what makes him tick.
What I disliked about this book
There wasn’t much to dislike about the book.
Whom would I recommend to read this book
This book is a great read for all of those who don’t understand the enigmatic Julian Assange. When dealing with a complicated and intelligent human being, it is important to take the time and make the effort to understand his or her perspective prior to making judgment of character and/or actions. Hence, no matter which side of the political “side” our reader is on with respect to Assange and WikiLeaks, this work is inarguably an informative and historically important read.
What I liked most about this book
The most interesting thing about this book is how the author tied together our most significant technological advances since the 1980s with the political, economic and social issues these advances most affected. Because he has had influence on the highest levels in both the private (business) and public (government) sectors, he was able to explain all of the nuances that only an insider could.
What challenges (or dislikes) about this book
I suppose the only challenge was trying to understand how someone could build a company (AOL) into a monster valuation and then be “unhappy” with how the circumstances turned out during and after the merger with Time/Warner.
For a reader (like me) who is also an entrepreneur, it’s strange to think that anyone could be unhappy with the results he achieved. Entrepreneurs traditionally work so hard and diligently for such a long time – and often with less than satisfactory results – that one never envisions the potential for any unhappiness in this process. It was certainly both an eye-opener and a reminder of the cold realities of our complex business world. That said, all entrepreneurs (satisfied or unsatisfied) should thank Steve Case for being so honest with his feelings in “letting us in” to experience a moment with him that most successful businesspeople are too proud to ever let us see.
Why and to whom would I recommend this book
This book is an outstanding read for anyone and everyone who is alive and well today. Whether we realize it or not, we are all living in the Third Wave that is described in this book.
In the beginning of the book, I was very enthusiastic about sharing this information with my pre-teen children. They are now in what I coined their iPod stage (in obvious hopes to rapidly accelerate into their iPhone stage). But I often wonder how unaware they are of what we had to endure in the “old tech days” (i.e. the 90s and before).
I recall (as late as 2001) making daily references to the old AOL online process: which included modem screeches, awful delays and call drops. However, as Steve Case properly explains, it was not only all we had, but just the starting point of so many monumental gains to come. All of our children would feel cheated if they had to climb into a time machine for a day and revert to those days, but then again, what did we say to our parents with all of their “tech troubles?” We should be very proud of our tech advancements and in introducing it all to the next generation.