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Born in Maidstone, Kent, Edwards was raised in the village of Bearsted, and spent summers in Sweden, his mother's country of origin. He sees this as influencing his attitudes to modern living. After graduating from Leicester University with a Politics degree he worked in sales and marketingmanagement for several large corporations, but became profoundly dissatisfied with the corporate working environment. According to Edwards, while working at British Telecom in the late 1980s, his employment there became untenable after he attempted to set up a "green initiatives" project. In 1991 he left the business world completely, and began his writing career, earning most of his income as a teacher of English as a second language.
After his articles were published on human rights and environmental issues by independent magazines and journals (such as Z Magazine), Edwards wrote his first book, Free to be Human, (Green Books, 1995), which later appeared in the United States as Burning All Illusions: a Guide to Personal and Political Freedom (South End Press, 1996). It relies on Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky's propaganda model, as well as on the writings of Erich Fromm. Edwards advanced the thesis that corporate structural factors conspire to make the mass media give a picture of the world that goes beyond the political indoctrination postulated by Herman and Chomsky, to encompass almost all aspects of personal life, by constantly promoting the values of blind consumerism.
Edwards has also drawn on his practice of Buddhism in his writings. Edwards, writing for the New York-based Tricycle: The Buddhist Review in 2005, commented: "The antidotes to systemic greed, I am convinced, are political movements motivated by unconditional compassion for suffering. This compassion needs to be rooted in genuinely profound and authentic sources—the kind provided today by the best Buddhist teachers and organisations."
Edwards, David (1998) The Compassionate Revolution: Radical Politics and Buddhism, Dartington: Green Books
Edwards, David (2000) Free to Be Human: Intellectual Self-defence in an Age of Illusions, Dartington: Green Books (published in America as Burning all Illusions)
Edwards, David (2005) Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media, London: Pluto Press
Edwards, David (2009) Newspeak in the 21st Century, London: Pluto Press
Edwards, David (2010) "Normalising the unthinkable: The media's role in mass killing", in Peace Journalism, War and Conflict Resolution, ed. Richard Lance Keeble, John Tulloch, Florian Zollman, New York: Peter Lang