A thrilling dramatic narrative of the top-secret Cold War-era spy plane operation that transformed the CIA and brought the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of disasterOn May 1, 1960, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union just weeks before a peace summit between the two nations. The CIA concocted a cover story for President Eisenhower to deliver, assuring him that no one could have survived a fall from that altitude. And even if pilot Francis Gary Powers had survived, he had been supplied with a poison pin with which to commit suicide.But against all odds, Powers emerged from the wreckage and was seized by the KGB. He confessed to espionage charges, revealing to the world that Eisenhower had just lied to the American people--and to the Soviet Premier. Infuriated, Nikita Khrushchev slammed the door on a rare opening in Cold War relations. In A Brotherhood of Spies, award-winning journalist Monte Reel reveals how the U-2 spy program, principally devised by four men working in secret, upended the Cold War and carved a new mission for the CIA. This secret fraternity, made up of Edwin Land, best known as the inventor of instant photography and the head of Polaroid Corporation; Kelly Johnson, a hard-charging taskmaster from Lockheed; Richard Bissell, the secretive and ambitious spymaster; and ace Air Force flyer Powers, set out to replace yesterday's fallible human spies with tomorrow's undetectable eye in the sky. Their clandestine successes and all-too-public failures make this brilliantly reported account a true-life thriller with the highest stakes and tragic repercussions....
|Title||:||A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA's Secret War|
|Number of Pages||:||352 pages|
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A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA's Secret War Reviews
A Brotherhood of Spies tells the captivating story of the “marrying of espionage with high-tech innovation.” This is an essential read when trying to understand the original mission of the CIA, and the ethical and technological foundations of modern spy craft. Reel’s narrative poses several questions about the modern tactics of war. An enlightening read.
Thank you to NetGalley, Doubleday Books, and Monte Reel for a copy for review.
Full review can be found here: https://paulspicks.blog/2018/05/10/ ...more
Having lived through the shoot-down of Francis Powers over the USSR while flying a U-2, watching the news accounts of his trial and of his later return to the US in exchange for a Soviet spy, it was interesting, informative and enlightening to read the back story. Reel goes to great lengths to elucidate the characters involved in this tale, along with the details of the development of this plane and its successor, the SR-71.
This is an engrossing tale of espionage that results in ruined lives an ...more
Well, a sincere title that reflects very well the contents. CIA has naturally all its activities secret. And they have participated in all wars since day one, when OSS was over.
Anyway, this is the book of one of those jaded journalists that have to take the few facts they have and twist them into a fairy tale in order to sell. So you get small talk that never existed, aberrant weather details and so on.
This is a recent, page-turning account of the Francis Gary Powers U-2 affair of the early sixties set within the context of a history of the cold war until the seventies. It also includes a review of the early history of the CIA and the biographies of Powers and his wife as well as of the creators of the spy plane, Edwin Land of Polaroid and Kelly Johnson of Lockheed.
Way back in grade school, while up at grandmother's Michigan cottage, I read another, early account of the downing of Powers' U-2 ...more
Full disclosure first. Mine is an advanced copy of the paperback A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA's Secret War. It was a prize given to me through a GoodReads give-away. Under the rules and as was explained I was not obligated to read or review the book. It was suggested that an honest review of the book would be considered the polite thing to do.
Because this is a pre-release copy: Every page number in the Table of Contents is page 123, it has no index, every foot note is numbered 000 ...more
Fantastic, engaging read. Knowing nothing other than the name Powers and that it was a public mis-step in the Cold War this book really brought to life this episode in our country's history. Highly recommended.
3.5 stars rounded up. Thanks go to Net Galley and Doubleday for the DRC, which I received free and early in exchange for this honest review.
The story begins with a US spy plane being shot down over Soviet (Russian) airspace in 1960. This is embarrassing. Eisenhower’s people decide to make something up; after all, nobody survives an airplane crash over dry land. Moreover, the pilot was provided with a cyanide capsule—James Bond style—so even if he survived, he must be dead; likewise, the plane wa ...more