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The Books Are Better: ‘Snowden’ is a Failure, at Least by Oliver Stone’s Standards

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Who would have thought that Oliver Stone would play it safe? I certainly wouldn’t think the JFK and Platoon helmsman would decide to pull back when exploring one of the most important stories of the early 21st century regarding our privacy. But I’m here to tell you, Stone played it too close to the vest. Snowden stars the multifaceted Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the titular Edward Snowden, who at his personal expense exposed how the National Security Agency is able to spy on anyone with a cell phone or internet connection. Many historians think this revelation was more impactful than Daniel Ellsburg’s ‘Pentagon Papers’ revealing the impending failure of the Vietnam War. The movie is based on two books, The Snowden Files (Vintage, 2014) by…

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