Dark Mirror
Barton Gellman

Book cover image

Narrated By: Barton Gellman

Duration: 12 hours and 5 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Dark Mirror is the ultimate inside account of the vast, global surveillance network that now pervades all our lives.

Barton Gellman’s informant called himself ‘Verax’ – the truth-teller. It was only later that Verax unmasked himself as Edward Snowden. But Gellman’s primary role in bringing Snowden’s revelations to light, for which he shared the Pulitzer prize, is only the beginning of this gripping real-life spy story. Snowden unlocked the door: here Gellman describes what he found on the other side over the course of a years-long journey of investigation. It is also the story of his own escalating battle against unknown digital adversaries after he discovered his own name on a file in the leaked document trove and realised that he himself was under attack.

Through a gripping narrative of paranoia, clandestine operations and jaw-dropping revelations, Dark Mirror delineates in full for the first time the hidden superstructure that connects government espionage with Silicon Valley. Who is spying on us and why? Here are the answers.

'A remarkable, authentic and chilling exposé of a global conspiracy that reads like a first-rate conspiracy thriller: a book of gripping, compulsive and disturbing impact' William Boyd

© Barton Gellman 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020

Genre

Espionage & secret services, Privacy & data protection

Listen to a sample

A remarkable, authentic and chilling exposé of a global conspiracy that reads like a first-rate conspiracy thriller: a book of gripping, compulsive and disturbing impact

William Boyd

Bart Gellman is that rare combination of a tenacious reporter, a clear explicator of the most complex subjects, and a first-rate storyteller, all rolled into one. This book is a deep exploration of a surveillance apparatus of unimaginable magnitude, a chronicle of Gellman's intense and sometimes fraught relationship with his enigmatic and controversial source, Edward Snowden, and an intimate, disarmingly candid reporter's notebook about what it's like to spend years watching the watchers, and realizing, along the way, that they are watching you back

Patrick Radden Keefe, author of Say Nothing

Engrossing … His wariness makes Gellman a thorough, exacting reporter; it also makes him a marvelous narrator for this particular story, as he nimbly guides us through complex technical arcana and some stubborn ethical questions … He deploys plenty of metaphors, not to adorn the stakes but to clarify them. He shows how discussions of medieval ramparts and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon are surprisingly pertinent to the architecture of mass surveillance. His voice is laconic and appealingly wry … Dark Mirror would be simply pleasurable to read if the story it told didn’t also happen to be frighteningly real

New York Times

Partly a thriller, partly a deeper exposé about the vast power the surveillance state, Dark Mirror is a riveting page-turner that captures the danger and drama of the most important leak of classified material in generations

Carol Leonnig, three-time Pulitzer winner and bestselling author of A Very Stable Genius

A riveting narrative of investigative reporting in the age of surveillance. It is a dramatic, authoritative account not only of the significance of Edward Snowden’s revelations, but of what public interest journalism must overcome to inform citizens about their exposure to our dystopian Internet