Permanent Record, despite the author’s being a well known personality, is not a fully coherent book. The book starts with Snowden’s life and progresses towards civil liberties in US not in straightforward manner. If you have followed up the revelations from 2013 then there is nothing new that is reveled within the book.

Nonetheless, the book provides us with an overview of psychological and moral growth that Snowden underwent throughout his life. We finally get to see the manifesto that has shaped on the belief of Snowden about the unrestricted global mass surveillance that are just partly supported by what’s in the original documents that were leaked. Indeed, the book provides a rather confusing narrative that seems to oscillate between fiction and fact when it relates to the topic of mass surveillance. For instance, Snowden mentions about making it feasible for a single entity to collect all of the worlds digital communication and process them at its will. This is something that would be technologically infeasible. Furthermore, in the book Snowden only speaks about civilian mass surveillance with next to no mention about the military intelligence that is the primary focus of the operations at NSA.

Nevertheless, the book Permanent Record is a good read to understand what shaped the view of Snowden and led towards the biggest reveal about cyber surveillance in this age. It is highly recommended to read this book along No place to hide by Green Greenwald that gives a view on the thoughts of journalist during the whole Snowden saga.