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Edward Snowden’s Ego: A review of Edward Snowden’s Book “Permanent Record”

By Jennifer Brown

I bought Snowden’s book the first day it was for sale at a local bookstore. Interesting that is was not on display at all with the memoirs of Michele Obama and Hillary Clinton. Rather the Snowden book was undisplayed behind the cash register counter of the bookstore and you had to ask for it. It felt a little bit like going to the corner store and asking for a pack of smokes or the pharmacy and asking for some Sudafed.

I asked how many copies they had. Three, replied the bookstore employee. Three copies of what would become the nations best selling book, immediately upon its release. Three copies of the book the US Government would sue for the very fact it was published without its consent. Curious.

I read the book quickly. It is an easy read. You can find out why the leaks of Edward Snowden are important here.

Snowden spends a good deal of space in his book outlining his pedigree. He is a product of generations of people who proudly served the state/military and continue to do so today. Snowden wants us to know he was born and raised to trust and love ‘the State’.

Snowden also makes it clear that he is not like that other whistle blower, Julian Assange. He again spends a great deal of time making sure the reader understands why he did not give his intel to Assange.

However the reasons are not factually based and would seem more a gift to his former employers running the security state than truth.

For more on those specifics see Mint Press article.

Quite curious. Instead of giving us more gory details about the NSA and the State he uses his book to separate himself from Assange.


Because, Snowden has a big fat ego. And personally, I could care less but it does cause him to lose focus on what is really important.

I admire what Snowden and Assange have sacrificed for the freedom we all take for granted. It would be much better for everyone however if Snowden could rein it in a bit and stay focused on the work but alas, he is human, just like us.

Assange at great expense and risk sent his closest advisor, journalist and editor, Sarah Harrison to Snowden in Hong Kong and she remained with him until he was safe in exile in Russia – approximately 7 weeks. Snowden recognizes her efforts and is grateful for them. But he stops short at a full public recognition of Assange’s efforts. A simple thank you would be nice, Mr. Snowden!

One of the two journalists Snowden did trust to release his story was Glenn Greenwald who at that time was working for the Guardian. And although not mentioned in this book, it was then, President Obama asked billionaire friend Pierre Omidyar to start news agency, The Intercept and hire Glenn Greenwald so he could house the cache of Snowden documents. Those documents were never given the full vetting they deserve and just recently The Intercept announced that they would no longer spend money and time reviewing them.

Perhaps Snowden’s decision not to work with Assange was not a good one.

So Snowden remains in exile, unable to receive a fair trial in the US and his work has not gotten nearly the attention it should. It would appear that Mr. Snowden has more in common with Mr. Assange than he wants to admit.

If you would like to donate to help whistle blowers around the world, please donate to the Courage Foundation.

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