Lawyers and history buffs (and many more) should read this month's Wired Magazine coverage of Edward Snowden.

Lawyers and history buffs (and many more) should read this month’s Wired Magazine coverage of Edward Snowden.

I can suggest a few reasons you should read the cover story in this month’s Wired Magazine.

First, you should always read the cover story in Wired Magazine. But you probably want more reason than that.

OK. Second, the legal-lover in you knows you’re aching to gain some insight into Edward Snowden’s role in an ongoing international incident. How does he justify his actions? Will the American people ultimately view him as a villain or as an aid to American transparency?

The U.S. government’s response to that second question is a complicated and not entirely coherent one. It has ranged from throwing around the word “treason” to claiming pleasure at the resulting dialogue about the NSA and the CIA (always, of course, without praising Snowden).

If that legal insight is all you aspire to, the Wired feature story based on exclusive one-on-one conversations with the former intelligence operative should please you very much. You can read the whole story here.

BUT … if you, like me, enjoy gaining insight into how magazines are created, then you really need to read the opening letter by the editor-in-chief too. (Yes, some of us read those too!)

It is only in Scott Dadich’s column that you will learn how Platon’s phenomenal photos came to be. You’ll read about the machinations that led to surreptitious meetings in Russian hotel rooms. And you’ll marvel at how random inexpensive props bought in Manhattan spurred the imagination of Snowden thousands of miles east.

Kudos to the editor, writer James Bamford, director of photography Patrick Witty, and photographer Platon. This is an amazing accomplishment.

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