Alan Rusbridger at the TLS:
Apart from his short video outing himself in 2013, Snowden has tended to keep himself out of the public eye, preferring that the material speak for itself. He is, in many respects, the opposite of Julian Assange – a figure with whom he is often bracketed. The founder of WikiLeaks wanted to be a player: impresario, editor, publisher, activist, leaker, information anarchist and troublemaker. Snowden, by contrast, simply wanted to get his documents into the hands of journalists, and to leave them to make the choices about what to publish.
Given his past reticence, this book is a surprisingly personal autobiography as well as a primer on the way modern states now operate in the digital sphere. Snowden lifts the veil on his family and upbringing (his mother worked for the NSA), and writes of his early fascination with computers, which began at the age of six when his parents – both of whom had top secret security clearances – gave him a Nintendo.