by Chelsea Manning
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
An intimate, revealing memoir from one of the most important activists of our time.
While working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq for the United States Army in 2010, Chelsea Manning disclosed more than seven hundred thousand classified military and diplomatic records that she had smuggled out of the country on the memory card of her digital camera. In 2011 she was charged with twenty-two counts related to the unauthorized possession and distribution of classified military records, and in 2013 she was sentenced to thirty-five years in military prison.
The day after her conviction, Manning declared her gender identity as a woman and began to transition, seeking hormones through the federal court system. In 2017, President Barack Obama commuted her sentence and she was released from prison.
In README.txt, Manning recounts how her pleas for increased institutional transparency and government accountability took place alongside a fight to defend her rights as a trans woman. Manning details the challenges of her childhood and adolescence as a naive, computer-savvy kid, what drew her to the military, and the fierce pride she has about the work she does. This powerful, observant memoir will stand as one of the definitive testaments of our digital, information-driven age.
"Manning demonstrates her integrity in this meticulous account of a person constitutionally opposed to secrets and lies..." -- Kirkus Reviews
"README.txt describes in painful, affecting detail what happened as a result of the U.S. Army intelligence analyst’s decision in 2010." -- The New York Times Book Review
"We may know some facts of this story, but what we cannot know as an abstract fact — what we can only feel through Manning’s unfurling of narrative detail — is the texture of her choices." -- The Washington Post
About the Author:
Chelsea Manning is an American transparency activist, politician, and former U.S. Army intelligence analyst. She lives in Brooklyn and works as a security consultant and expert in data science and machine learning.