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Julian Assange - The Unauthorised Autobiography

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  576 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
In December 2010, Julian Assange signed a contract with Canongate Books to write a book - part memoir, part manifesto - for publication the following year. At the time, Julian said: 'I hope this book will become one of the unifying documents of our generation. In this highly personal work, I explain our global struggle to force a new relationship between the people and the ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Canongate Books (first published 2011)
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Oct 31, 2011 Santosh rated it it was amazing
Every person in this world is capable enough to leave his mark on this world. What kind of mark to be left is to be decided by the person himself. Many people don't decide so they leave a mark which no one notices. Few decide, and leave a strong mark, which will be noticed by many. But there are few who are so clear on what to do with their life and follow their gut feeling and are so truthful, that the mark they leave is noticed by everyone. And it will change the very life of each and every on ...more
Reads like the first draft it is, one based on interview transcripts. And given Assange's disowning the project in 2011, and ghost writer Andrew O'Hagan's LRB public stress-venting exercise/hatchet job in 2014, it's far from clear whether these 14 chapters of 'unauthorised autobiography' - that would have been a joke title from almost anyone else - represent Assange as he intended prior to abandoning the memoir.

NB. Paragraph 7 is about the Swedish sex offence charges. I've also put these /// at
Sudheer Madhava
Sep 27, 2012 Sudheer Madhava rated it it was amazing
Personally, this is one of the few books which will influence me for life. My sense of justice, freedom and human values perceptibly shifted as I went through this first person narrative. What makes it appealing in spite of some technical jargon and predictably self justifying statements of a person in distress is Julian Assange's intent of using his amazing ability with technology to attempt to make the truth known to humanity. The truth as it is and not the truth churned out by a conventional ...more
Aug 12, 2012 James added it
A Thousand Plateaus is required reading for Assange fans and enemies, as well as those who don't give a fig but carry a Master or Visa card or just have a particular bent for Continental theory.

According to Deleuze and Guattari Western thought is dominated by a structure of knowledge they call aboresence. This way of knowing is tree-like, vertical, and centralized. For instance, in biology, we have Linnean taxonomies. In chemistry, we have Porphyrian trees. In linguistics we have Chomskyan se
Feb 20, 2012 Mat rated it really liked it
This book deserves to sell far more than the few copies it has reportedly sold. The publisher has probably done the book a disservice by calling it "The Unauthorised..." It does end pretty abruptly and has been conspicuously fleshed out with a few excerpts from WikiLeaks' leaks. Assange's story is vivid and deserves to be read if only to give his side to a story that many others have cashed in on, smearing him in the process.

Here are a few stand-out quotes:

Big Brother is home. He is installed in
Aug 19, 2012 Phillip rated it really liked it
anyone with even a passing interest in Julian Assange should read this book. For the record it is ghost written and basically a first draft of an autobiography that he pulled the plug on. personally I found it quite a good read. Yes it could be construed as propaganda on his behalf, but with entire governments and traditional media outlets portraying him as a traitor and sexual deviant, how else can he tell his side of the story?
Teri Kelly
Nov 15, 2011 Teri Kelly rated it did not like it
Where to even begin unravelling, what is (when all of the giddy media propaganda is paint-strippered away), in reality, a simple tale of infamy and incongruity. Julian Assange has become, perhaps by his own actions, perhaps not, a somewhat disassociated caricature of himself. The question here however is just what the truth is in age of government and media sponsored lies, fabrications, falsifications, hypocritical justifications and condemnations? Can anyone place any credence on a book that ar ...more
We just got this into the store on Tuesday, and taking a look at it, I was pretty excited to read it, and to get a long inside account of Wikileaks. I wasn't aware, however, of all the controversy over its publication. The note from the publisher in the beginning of the book suggests it, but still seems misleading, having also read this:

Still, it was a compelling read, and great to have the Wikileaks story all in one place, told (even if this telling is co
Sep 11, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it
A compulsory read for an understanding of this fascinating character. Is it ego or altruism that drives Assange? It is a fast, interesting read and certainly shines a bright light in the face of governments who do not like to be questioned - and shouldn't we all be questioning our governments?
Michelle MacAleese
Sep 30, 2011 Michelle MacAleese rated it really liked it
This man is fascinating--he's the most super-intelligent car-wreck ever. And Andrew O'Hagen has done a great job.
Clare O'Beara
Apr 15, 2014 Clare O'Beara rated it it was amazing
This is a good read, showing us how this extraordinary man and body of works, is the sum of the upbringing and interests and choices made throughout his life and before it began.

The publishers state at the outset that the author spoke with a ghost author and made tapes for many hours, before deciding as the book was being prepared, with hefty pre-sales and with his advance cheque paid over by him to his lawyers, that he'd rather not publish an autobiography. That would seem rather late in the d
chris tervit
Feb 02, 2012 chris tervit rated it it was ok
This is not a book I would normally read- I tend to stay clear of autobiographies as they often end up being either dull, narcissistic or poorly written, or all of the above. This started out like that but got better towards then end, when we get to the parts about Wikileaks starting up & links with The Guardian and other global media groups. Since he presents himself & his band of 'vigilantes' as altruistic truth-finders we are left asking if we can trust them & him to really find t ...more
Nov 04, 2011 Luke rated it really liked it
I know there are people out there who complain about this book, claim that it's not entirely based on truth. And yeah, it was written by a host writer, there's no denying that.

However, that doesn't mean that the book is bad. The book is actually a compelling read. It's well written and it sheds light on a story which for some would be truly inspiring. It focuses on the story of WikiLeaks, and the backlash that Assange received, not on his family life. Perhaps the family life would have been of b
Michael Riedyk
Jul 14, 2012 Michael Riedyk rated it really liked it
A great book to get insight on the history and vision behind wikileaks and Assanges' life.

I recommend to read this book to get a better understanding what information technology, internet and privacy will mean to politics, peace, wars and the freedom of speech in the 21st century.

Assange is clearly is on the right side of history and deserves respect.
Sep 08, 2015 Sambasivan rated it it was amazing
For the sheer courage and singlemindedness, this author deserves five stars. The quality and style of writing is impeccable at the same time inimitable. The extreme levels one needs to go to in order to achieve one's goal of exposing the truth is simply breathtaking. Go for it.
Motazz Beloua
Feb 09, 2014 Motazz Beloua rated it really liked it
A hero of modern Times. We just don't realize it yet.
Feb 03, 2012 Edith rated it liked it
Interesting book, although the writing style of the author is rather boring. It's actually only worth reading from chapter 8 onwards (the birth of Wikileaks).
Christina Komarova
May 12, 2017 Christina Komarova rated it it was ok
Honestly, I did not like the book: it was difficult to read, especially after several other works about Wikileaks which are much better.
Vera VB
Feb 06, 2017 Vera VB rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Ik heb een heel dubbel gevoel bij dit boek. Aan de ene kant wil ik wel alles geloven wat Assange zegt, maar aan de andere kant weet ik dat er aan ieder verhaal twee kanten zijn. Doet hij zich mooier en beter voor dan hij effectief is? Daarop krijg ik geen antwoord.

Assange heeft een voorschot voor deze autobiografie ontvangen, was ermee aan het werk en heeft op het laatst toch besloten dat het niet uitgegeven mocht worden, maar het voorschot was al op. Dan is er beslist om toch uit te geven, van
Sep 29, 2013 Tim rated it liked it
Julian Assange is a new kind of journalist, one whose aim is to liberate information - to give us the raw tools to understand the world we live in. The book is intended as a manifesto, but it is a too sloppy for that. It starts with a rather crude outline of his childhood - drawn in broad strokes and offering little to enlighten you about what was to come later.

But once Assange gets into his stride, discussing the technology that inspired him, the ideals that drove him, and the way that Wikilea
堂本 サヤ
Nov 03, 2016 堂本 サヤ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read half of this book one year ago. And at the same time, I saw lots of videos, interviews and documentaries about him and WikiLeaks. He pissed off almost all the press, and then they made him a paranoia. Until I read this unauthorised autobiography, I don't feel like I start to understand him.
Well, I love genius, and abusolutly, he's one of them. And I think all the geniuses have paranoia or madness in them more or less. And when I read through his childhood and teenage full of twists and t
João Duarte
Oct 03, 2014 João Duarte rated it really liked it
Não tenho a certeza se o Universo está consciente da nossa existência, mas a maior parte das vezes a sensação que tenho é que nos pôs de castigo contra a parede enquanto deixou a sopa ao lume. E isto deve ter acontecido mesmo no início, logo depois de se ter tornado claro que só vínhamos cá perturbar um equilíbrio natural por si só difícil de manter.
Assim, quando o sentido de justiça universal do Universo é arbitrário, cabe-nos a nós definir os alicerces daquilo que pode ou não ser considerado
Mar 15, 2015 Nadja rated it it was amazing
After reading some of the comments I can understand, absolutely, why

a) The world is in the state that it is (i.e. corrupt governmental information is made public and no one bats an eyelid because Kim Kardashian's new bikini spill is more important), and
b) There's so much hate speech on YouTube.

No matter what you may think of Julian Assange, his personality, his motives, the ghostwriter's style, or whatever little detail takes more precedence, for you, than citizen empowerment, the fact of the m
Feb 02, 2014 Lori rated it it was ok
I find the topic of Julian & Wiki Leaks very interesting yet I also don't know exactly how I feel about the information becoming public. To a degree I do believe our Government needs to keep done issues quiet and not known for the basic person or the World to learn about. That said, I do believe that most of our Government is corrupt or Senators etc each have their own agendas and what is it that we can rely on and what can't we believe.
I wish this book had given a bit more insight into Jul
Vasil Kolev
Aug 05, 2013 Vasil Kolev rated it really liked it
This is the "unathorized" autobiography of Julian. It's not that hard to see what's not written by him and what was, but it's mostly him, although edited badly (he would've definitely do a better job).

There's some good information on his early years, which definitely shaped him into what he is today. There's also a lot of information on the ideas of wikileaks, on the basic ideas and reasons for starting the organization. Most of the leaks themselves have been covered enough everywhere, so this i
Yash Deshpande
Jan 02, 2014 Yash Deshpande rated it liked it
Julian Assange is one the most interesting people of this decade. He has been described as a maverick,a man constantly in pursuit of justice, a journalist fighting for liberty and against government censorship and oppression, a rapist and also a terrorist. To read about his own journey in his own words is a delight. The autobiography is detailed, descriptive of the environment he grew in and focused on his work for liberty. There few phrases on every page which simply stand out and are exception ...more
Craig Curtis
Jul 16, 2016 Craig Curtis rated it liked it
This book gives a brief (yet not completely exhaustive) run through of Julian's life up to his arrest in London and subsequent house arrest. On the whole it's not that much of a revealing portrait of such an interesting person. That being said, there were a few sections that were fascinating. His childhood and upbringing by his mother and their life on the run from a cult was interesting. It's not hard to see how this affected his nomadic life with Wikileaks. Also his thoughts on journalists fro ...more
Dec 19, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing
An interesting memoir from one of the few people on this planet I actually admire.
Lee Belbin
Jun 09, 2016 Lee Belbin rated it it was amazing
This should be mandatory reading for everyone above the age of 15. That's the reason I gave it a 5. It is not entertaining, but was never meant to be. It is however a good education on power and corruption, telling us what we need to know. Julian is no angel but admits his faults, which is more than we can say of his enemies - of which he has legions. He is also incredibly hard-working, intelligent and thoughtful in the sense that he thinks hard about issues rather than being superficial. He has ...more
Margreet Nannenberg
Dec 23, 2011 Margreet Nannenberg rated it liked it
Haven't finished this one yet. After I've done that, I really need the HHGG to release some angry feelings which I get while reading this autobiography. Still it's a fascinating story!

31/1/2012: Finished. I'm a bit disappointed of the writer's style: boring and as if Assange's being a narcist (which I don't think so). I do understand why Assange didn't authorised this biography. But: it is still interesting to read how Assange started with hacking to gather the information which he'd placed on W
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Julian Paul Assange is an Australian publisher, journalist, software developer and Internet activist. He is the founder, spokesperson, and editor in chief of WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website and conduit for worldwide news leaks, with the stated purpose of creating open governments. Assange has worked as a computer programmer and was a hacker during his youth. He has lived in several countries, a ...more
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“Where they couldn't pick holes in our arguments they would drive horses and carriages through my character.” 10 likes
“Opponents past and present have the same essential weakness about them: first they want to use you, then they want to be you, then they want to snuff you out.” 2 likes
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