John Naughton: Cambridge Analytica: Mindf*ck by Christopher Wylie; Targeted by Brittany Kaiser – reviews

Books by two of the company’s key players shed light on our current political malaise

Hindsight is the only exact science, as these two books confirm. Chris Wylie and Brittany Kaiser are two youngish, idealistic, clever people who got involved in some very dark stuff orchestrated by unscrupulous operators. Eventually, both realised they had become accomplices to activities that were at best unethical and at worst illegal, realisations that prompted them to break loose and blow the whistle. And both their memoirs, though very different in style and tone, are attempts to atone for the societal damage their respective collaborations with the devil have done.

But there the similarities end. Wylie is an unorthodox, gay Canadian who is passionately interested in fashion; Kaiser is a straight, liberal American interested in human rights and other humanitarian causes. And yet both were ensnared in the same net: a sinister dirty-tricks, election-manipulating “consultancy” outfit called SCL run by a sociopathic old Etonian, Alexander Nix, which eventually spawned another company called Cambridge Analytica (CA), which was the vehicle that did most of the democratic damage.

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