Disclosure (novel)

Disclosure (novel)
MichaelCrighton Disclosure.jpg
First edition cover
Author(s) Michael Crichton
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Crime novel
Publisher Knopf
Publication date January 1994
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 397
ISBN 0679419454
OCLC Number 28844025
Dewey Decimal 813/.54 20
LC Classification PS3553.R48 D57 1994
Preceded by Rising Sun
Followed by The Lost World

Disclosure is a novel by Michael Crichton, published in 1994. The novel is set in a fictional high tech company, just before the beginning of the dot-com economic boom. The plot concerns protagonist Tom Sanders, and his battle against unfounded allegations of sexual harassment.



High-tech company executive Tom Sanders expects a promotion following DigiCom's merger with a publishing house. Instead, his ex-girlfriend, Meredith Johnson, is offered the position he thought would be his. When he spurns her advances, she exacts her revenge by undermining his work and arranging his transfer to a different department in addition to filing sexual harassment charges against him. The transfer prevents him from getting stock options which would have made him a wealthy man. Sanders decides to countersue for sexual harassment, throwing the merger and his future with the company in jeopardy. Sanders begins to build his case against Johnson with the help of virtual reality technology and a helper known only as "A. Friend." In the end, he discovers that he was a pawn in a much larger game of corporate intrigue. Along the way he learns about sexual politics in the workplace, including an array of double-standards in the way men and women are expected to act and how they are perceived.

Major themes

The primary theme is sexual harassment. The book features a male protagonist who is being sexually harassed by a female executive, reversing the expected gender roles. Not surprisingly, the book has been harshly criticized by feminist commentators and accused of being anti-feminist.[1] Crichton offered a rebuttal at the close of the novel which states that a "role-reversal" story uncovers aspects of the subject that would not be as easily seen with a female protagonist.

Underlying Themes

Minor threads of the plot include two issues which have become relevant in the 21st century IT industry: outsourced American manufacturing and virtual reality. The book explores the implications of outsourcing American manufacturing to developing worlds through the fictional case study of disc drives that the protagonist's company is manufacturing in an Asian country. The drives are failing at higher rates than ever, due to the Malaysian government's demands for more manpower instead of automation, which would have produced better drives. Virtual reality is briefly addressed as the protagonist's company is building a head-up display for a small virtual world created for data retrieval and other purposes.

In addition to sexual harassment, issues of management theory, gender roles and justice are explored.

Film adaptation

In 1994, Disclosure, a film adaptation of the novel was released. It starred Demi Moore, Michael Douglas, Donald Sutherland and Dennis Miller.


Reviews were mostly favorable.

The New York Times's Christopher Lehmann-Haupt said of Disclosure, that it is "an elaborate provocation of rage in which a thousand fragments of revenge finally fall into place, like acid rain on wildfire. Meanwhile, Mr. Crichton also irrelevantly entertains us with a complex vision of the digital future, complete with cellular phones the size of credit cards, CD-ROM players that can store 600 books and database environments you can virtually walk around in with the guidance of a helpful angel who cracks wise."[2]


External links

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