He doesn’t drink, he’s reading Dostoevsky and, no, he doesn’t wear a disguise. A year after blowing the whistle on the NSA, America’s most wanted talks to Alan Rusbridger and Ewen MacAskill about his life as a hero-pariah– and why the world remains ‘more dangerous than Orwell imagined’.
Fiction and films, the nearest most of us knowingly get to the world of espionage, give us a series of reliable stereotypes. British spies are hard-bitten, libidinous he-men. Russian agents are thickset, low-browed and facially scarred.