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A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA's Secret War

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
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ISBN : 9780385540209
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 pages
Url Type : Home » Download » A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA's Secret War

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A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA's Secret War Reviews

  • Bob Harris

    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
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  • Dan

    I was initially puzzled by the polarized early ratings on this book: five "5s" and five "1s". After looking at some web sites devoted to history of aerial reconnaissance, I found that the U-2 story is one of controversy and strong opinions. My take on the book is that it is an even-handed history of the U-2 program, including the controversies associated with it and the CIA. I found it very interesting, although I am not entirely unbiased. My father's cousin Jack Gibbs was an Air Force jet pilot ...more

  • J.S.

    This is a fascinating and very readable account of the events surrounding the U-2 spy plane. Focusing mainly on four important characters, Monte Reel shows how the U.S. entered the world of spy-craft during an intense period of the Cold War.

    In the mid 1950s, there was great concern over the perceived "missile-gap." It was believed that the USSR had developed far more nuclear missiles than the US and that America was at imminent risk. (It must be remembered that many at the time expected nuclear
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  • LuAnne Feik

    Readers can approach A BROTHERHOOD OF SPIES from one of two perspectives. Monte Reel's book covers development of the first U-2 plane capable of providing detailed photographs while flying, without being shot down, over enemy territory; the interception of the U-2 by the USSR and the capture, trial, captivity, and swap of U-2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers; the use of U-2 planes during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba; and the discovery of the USSR's offensive missiles in Cuba.

    Those familiar
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