"Ghosting," by Andrew O’Hagan
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, 2011. Toby Melville/Reuters
, is a most interesting personal profile of the Wikileaks founder by a writer in the most interesting position of having ghostwritten Assange's autobiography
. Assange later disavowed the project, telling publisher Canongate "All memoir is prostitution," and sought to have his contract canceled and the book killed. It was published
From O'Hagan's account of their first meeting, in which they discussed the sort of book Assange originally wished to write--part memoir, part manifesto:
He said he’d hoped to have something that read like Hemingway. ‘When people have been put in prison who might never have had time to write, the thing they write can be galvanising and amazing. I wouldn’t say this publicly, but Hitler wrote Mein Kampf in prison.’ He admitted it wasn’t a great book but it wouldn’t have been written if Hitler had not been put away. He said that Tim Geithner, the US secretary of the Treasury, had been asked to look into ways to hinder companies that would profit from subversive organisations. That meant Knopf would come under fire for publishing the book.
I asked him if he had a working title yet and he said, to laughter, ‘Yes. “Ban This Book: From Swedish Whores to Pentagon Bores”.’ It was interesting to see how he parried with some notion of himself as a public figure, as a rock star really, when all the activists I’ve ever known tend to see themselves as marginal and possibly eccentric figures. Assange referred a number of times to the fact that people were in love with him, but I couldn’t see the coolness, the charisma he took for granted. He spoke at length about his ‘enemies’, mainly the Guardian and the New York Times.
Quite a long read, and well worth it this weekend. [London Review of Books
Depending on whose estimate you believe, as much as 10% of the population of Iceland demonstrated outside Parliament yesterday, and everyone agrees that they were the largest demonstrations in Icelandic history (and possibly the largest demonstrations, proportionally of any country in history).
In less than an hour, Wikileaks will publish a set of TOP-SECRET/COMINT-GAMMA documents — “the most highly classified documents ever published by a media organization” — that document NSA spying on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, former French leader Nicolas […]
Chelsea Manning appears in the current episode of Amnesty International’s “In Their Own Words” podcast, voiced by actor Michelle Hendley. Chelsea tells us, “The awesome thing about this podcast is that Michelle Hendley speaks in my own voice, telling my story and memories in my own words and in my own style. It’s the closest […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]
In the world of app development, there’s no greater arena to find success than with Android users. About 80% of the smartphones in use today worldwide operate on the Android operating system, so if you build a great app that Android users love, you’re an international rock star. You’ll be able to make sure your […]
Unless you’re a programmer or webmaster, the term SQL probably doesn’t mean much to you. But for those looking to understand more about how and why the web works the way that it does, know this – SQL and its process of managing and presenting large data sets is everywhere…and it’s the most in-demand programming […]