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Chelsea Manning - spring 2019
Chelsea wears gabardine blazer with embroidered lapels, star pocket scarf Saint Laurent by Anthony VaccarelloPhotography Mark Peckmezian, Styling Emma Wyman

Chelsea Manning is releasing a tell-all memoir this year

The long-awaited README.txt will be published in October

Activist and whistleblower Chelsea Manning has announced that her memoir, README.txt, will be published this October.

Last night, Manning wrote on Twitter, “alright everyone, here’s the contractually obligated tweet the publisher wants literally five minutes ago: my memoir is finally nearing release, expected october 18”, alongside an image of the book’s cover. 

Manning, a former intelligence analyst, spent seven years in a military prison after being found guilty of 13 charges, including espionage, for leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks. The day after her conviction, Manning came out as transgender and began to medically transition while in prison. She was kept in solitary confinement for 11 months ahead of her trial, conditions which amounted to torture as defined by the UN.

During her trial, she was barred from presenting evidence that she was acting in the public interest, and was only allowed to explain her motives after she had already been sentenced.  After initially being sentenced to 35 years in prison, her sentence was commuted by Barack Obama in 2019. She was finally released from prison in 2020, but not before attempting to take her own life earlier that year.

Manning brought to light a number of human rights violations committed by the CIA and American military, many of which led to civilian deaths. She orchestrated the biggest information leak in American history, but the crimes she exposed have never been investigated. While remaining a controversial figure, many people view her as an American hero.

According to a statement released on Thursday by Manning’s publisher, “In README.txt, Manning recounts how her pleas for increased institutional transparency and government accountability took place alongside a fight to defend her rights as a trans woman.”

“Manning details the challenges of her childhood and adolescence as a naive, computer-savvy kid, what drew her to the military, and the fierce pride she has about the work she does,” the statement continued.