One of the most buzzed-about men in the country, WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, is writing an autobiography, presumably focusing on his work with WikiLeaks, the media and government assault that he’s been enduring for years, and his vision for a more transparent world. (For WikiLeaks beginners, it’s the website that allows government whistleblowers to make classified or secret documents public, including the Iraq War Logs, the now-famous “Collateral Murder” video, and the ongoing U.S. embassy cables. This documentary, produced by Swedish public television, provides a good crash course).
Last week, Assange signed a book deal with Alfred A. Knopf, a publishing house in New York, worth a cumulative $1.7 million. He has said that the revenue he’d gain from the book is almost the sole reason for sitting down to write. He’s been slammed with legal fees regarding the sex crimes allegations he’s facing, and with financial companies refusing to process any transaction to benefit the website, the project’s in peril of running out of money.
Assange told The Sunday Times in Britain he’s writing the book out of necessity:
I don’t want to write this book, but I have to. … I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat.
After all of the confused opinions, character assassinations, half-truths, and blatant lies about Assange (Glenn Greenwald has been providing excellent coverage on that front), it will be interesting to hear the story from Assange’s point of view. His book is set for an early 2011 publication date, and word is that a former spokesperson of the organization, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who’s also the man behind the new OpenLeaks.org, is releasing a tell-all book in February called Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website.
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