A look at Edward Snowden, Karen Silkwood, and government and corporate whistleblowing, by an author praised for his “first-rate reporting” (Kirkus Reviews).
In June of 2013, Edward Snowden, a twenty-nine-year-old former CIA employee, leaked thousands of top secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents to journalist Glen Greenwald. Branded as a whistleblower, Snowden reignited a debate about private citizens who reveal government secrets that should be exposed but may endanger the lives of others. Like the late Karen Silkwood, whose death in a car accident while bringing incriminating evidence against her employer to a meeting with a New York Times reporter is still a mystery, Snowden was intent upon revealing the controversial practices of his employer, a government contractor. Rightly or wrongly, Snowden and Silkwood believed that their revelations would save lives. In his riveting, thought-provoking book, Richard Rashke weaves between the lives of these two controversial figures and creates a narrative context for a discussion of what constitutes a citizen’s duty to reveal or not to reveal.