W H Allen scoops Ressa's tale of 'digital war frontline'

W H Allen scoops Ressa's tale of 'digital war frontline'

W H Allen will publish an “urgent” memoir and manifesto by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Maria Ressa, with a foreword from Amal Clooney. 

Hana Teraie-Wood, assistant editor at Ebury, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to How to Stand Up to a Dictator from Stephanie Thwaites at Curtis Brown and Rafe Sagalyn at ICM Partners. It will be published on 7th April 2022. 

Ressa is a Filipino-American journalist whose work investigating online disinformation networks and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime has landed her with 10 arrest warrants in less than two years. She was TIME Person of the Year in 2018 and is one of TIME's 100 Women of the Century, with accolades from Hillary Clinton among others. Ressa is c.e.o. of news website Rappler, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee in 2021 and winner of the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize 2021. Clooney, Ressa’s lawyer, will write a foreword for the book. 

The blurb to the book, dubbed an "urgent" memoir and manifesto by W H Allen, reads: “How to Stand Up to a Dictator is the story of how democracy dies by a thousand cuts, and how an invisible atom bomb has exploded online that has netted the globe – affecting our own clicks, our votes, and our futures. Told from the frontline of the digital war, it exposes the insidious online networks spreading lies and hate, before Maria becomes the target of attack herself. Reflecting on a lifetime spent in the pursuit of truth, How to Stand Up to a Dictator is a deeply personal call for us to rise against the growing waves of authoritarianism and the unchecked powers of Silicon Valley before it is too late.” 

Ressa said: “Hana and I have been talking since 2019, and I’m thrilled to be given the chance to put all the ideas together. When social media, the world’s largest distributor of news, prioritises the spread of lies laced with anger and hate over facts, it pushes the world to an existential moment, ripping apart trust and our shared reality. I hope to share the lessons I’ve learned in 35 years as a journalist and tell you why we each have to fight our individual battles for integrity to #HoldTheLine for our rights.” 

Teraie-Wood said: “I am incredibly honoured and excited to be working with Maria. Her message, in the couple of years we’ve been in touch, has grown exponentially in prescience and urgency. Maria is at the sharpest end of the politics driving surveillance capitalism, and her story, fuelled by a lifetime of first-hand experience and expertise, is one that the world must hear.”