We are living in a time of mind-boggling corruption, but we are also, as it happens, living in a golden age of whistleblowing.
Over the past two decades, the brave insiders who decide to expose wrongdoing have gained unprecedented legal and social stature, emerging as the government’s best weapon against corporate misconduct – and the citizenry’s best defence against government gone bad. They are also forcing us to consider fundamental questions about our democracy, especially the proper balance between free speech and state secrecy, and between individual rights and corporate power.
Drawing on relentless original research, including in-depth interviews with more than 200 whistleblowers and the elite coterie of legal trailblazers who have armed them for battle – plus scores of politicians, intelligence analysts, government watchdogs, cognitive scientists, and other experts – Crisis of Conscience is a modern-day David-and-Goliath saga, told through a series of riveting cases drawn from Big Pharma, the military, and beyond. Whistleblowers are not only heroes who expose and anatomize corruption and ensure that it is punished usually at enormous cost to themselves – Mueller shows how they are also models we all must think and act more like if our democracy is to survive.