MixedNPRGone are the days when national security chiefs quietly retired and perhaps wrote a discreet book a few years later recounting their years of service in understated tones ... Brennan dishes the gossip and offers strong, detailed, insider accounts of important events, such as how al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was tracked down and how drone strikes were carried out ... Yet something important is missing here — the big picture ... Brennan, who spent his early years as an intelligence analyst, provides relatively little analysis of how these dramas have reshaped U.S. national security and what lies ahead ... Brennan is at his best when he shares his access to places such as Saudi Arabia, where he was stationed twice and developed relationships with key figures in the government and the royal family ... too often he returns to inside-the-Beltway political battles and his now repetitive attacks on Trump.
PositiveNPR... a major contribution largely absent in the earlier efforts ... Gellman offers the most detailed, comprehensive and balanced take on the impact of Snowden\'s 2013 revelations and what they mean today, as the debate on national security versus individual privacy keeps evolving ... Gellman offers a very human portrayal of Snowden: a loner, filled with zeal and a black-and-white worldview ... all this back-and-forth, between Gellman and Snowden, and Gellman and national security officials, is the best part of a compelling book.
MixedNPRSnowden has no new bombshells in his book. But he offers a very readable memoir about growing up with the Internet, a detailed rationale for his actions, and a look at how government surveillance has evolved since his disclosures ... Snowden says almost nothing about Russia in his book, which seems odd, since he regularly speaks out in his interviews.