Book Review: readme.txt


by Chelsea Manning

Review by Alex P

This is one of my favourite books of the year, and one of my favourite memoirs of all time. I remember being in school when I first heard about Chelsea Manning and her whistle-blowing during the Iraq war. My opinion on her was formed by the media and my classmates, who mercilessly ridiculed and slandered her, both for being trans and for “betraying” her country. From the reaction of those around me, I thought she must have been a mentally unstable monster, and didn’t look any further into it. How wrong I was. Chelsea writes her life story in an easy-to-read, straight-up way that doesn’t cut corners or make excuses. She doesn’t leave anything out, and reals off facts and details in a very succinct manner, yet that doesn’t take away from their impact on the reader. She makes her reasons for whistle-blowing clear, and recounts the horrors she saw while on active duty (and experienced at the hands of the justice system) in her concise yet dynamic writing style. Her intelligence is clear, and she has completely transformed my opinion of her. She is an amazingly strong individual, not only to survive war and imprisonment, but also the degradation and subhuman treatment she was subjected to by the media and American politics. I really hope she writes more books.