Publisher’s Connection With China Could be Behind Snowden Book Censorship

Snowden macmillan
Andrew Zirkle | @theandrewzirkle

On late Monday night, Edward Snowden announced on Twitter that his new autobiography, Permanent Record, had been censored for its release in mainland China. The book follows the life of Snowden and the actions behind his 2013 whistleblowing incident, which implicated the NSA a massive illegal mass surveillance program. The book has achieved positive critical reception since its release in September, peaking at number four on the Amazon bestseller. 

Despite the initial rosy release of the book, things quickly turned sour when Snowden accused his publisher, Metropolitan Books, of violating the publishing agreement. Over Twitter, Snowden showcased a number of instances where passages relating to China either had their meaning changed or were redacted entirely. Little is known about the publishing arrangement. However, publisher Metropolitan Books and its parent companies, Macmillan Publishers and Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, have a complicated relationship with censorship and the Chinese government.

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BREAKING: Edward Snowden’s Autobiography Censored in China

Edward Snowden
Andrew Zirkle|@theandrewzirkle

Edward Snowden is blowing the whistle once again. This time, however, it’s on his own book, Permanent Record.  

On late Monday night, Snowden blew the lid on an attempt to censor the simplified Chinese version of his new autobiography. The book shines a light onto the life of Snowden, who was responsible for exposing NSA and CIA mass surveillance programs back in 2013. 

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The Russian Opposition Protests, Explained

protests in russia about corruption and opposition suppression are gaining traction
Drew Zirkle | @71RDrewZirkle

Riot police, tear gas, and arbitrary arrests. This scene sounds like its straight out of Hong Kong, where prolific protests erupted earlier this summer and have engulfed the city for months garnering worldwide attention. Although Hong Kong certainly is engaged in one of the most dangerous struggles for geopolitical sovereignty, they have overshadowed a band of freedom fighters that have endured a despotic regime in a land that has never tasted liberty.

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Sears May Be Dying, but American Retail Is Not

Andrew Zirkle | @71RAndrewZirkle

The concept of what it means to be an American has changed a lot since its inception nearly two and a half centuries ago. One of the most drastic changes, brought upon by the industrial age and a capitalist mentality, is the concept of consumerism, which has entrenched itself into the lives of nearly all Americans. The largest single facilitating entity behind this rise of consumerism throughout the 20th century was catalog company-turned-retailer Sears, Roebuck and Company, better known today as Sears. Although now a shadow of its former self, Sears was the largest retailer in America until 1990 when it was passed by Walmart. Even though Sears is still a well-known brand, it’s better known for its prolonged struggle through bankruptcy court and its controversial “former” CEO, Eddie Lampert, who is still very much in control of the brand.

Although it seems logical to blame the downfall of Sears on its failed 2005 merger with Kmart, along with incompetent management and the financial crash of 2008, the truth is much more complex than that. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Sears was actually well-positioned to become the dominant retail force in the 21st century before backward-thinking management sold their advantages away. This slow-motion-trainwreck of a story is more than just Sears and Eddie Lampert. It’s Amazon, Walmart, the internet, the Great Recession, and a three-decade head start that Sears had over the rest of American retail. Sears may have lost the title of America’s consumerism champion, but it can’t stop us from looking at the current landscape and wondering what could have been.

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