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Bridge of Spies: A True Story of the Cold War
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Bridge of Spies: A True Story of the Cold War

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Who were the three men the Soviet and American superpowers exchanged on Berlin's Glienicke Bridge on February 10, 1962, in the first and most legendary prisoner exhange between East and West? Bridge of Spies vividly traces the journeys of these men, whose fate defines the complex conflicts that characterized the most dangerous years of the Cold War.

Bridge of Spies is a tru
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Doubleday Canada (first published 2010)
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Jason
Like most books it seems these days, I'd give a 3.5, but the system doesn't allow for that.

Most of this book has to do with Gary Powers and the U-2, although there is some preliminary work on the spy whom, along with a graduate student happening to be put himself into the circumstances of Cold War Berlin, he was eventually exchanged for (a Russian who spent 8 years in the U.S.), which is mildly entertaining. The book gives a good overview of the U-2 flights; and the book definitely reaches its
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Gerry
This is a remarkable tale; at times it seems unreal, at other times it is unbelievable but all along it is perfectly true. Three men are involved and they are dragged into the Cold War, two of them through a sense of duty, one almost purely by accident. And they all suffer the same fate - imprisonment. They did not know each other but once a deal was brokered to free them they all came together, two on the Glienicke Bridge and one at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin on 10 February 1962. Then suddenl ...more
Connor
An absolutely brilliant book, filled with understanding, passion and opinion. A very interesting read and worth getting for any Cold War enthusiasts!
Patrick
This was an interesting book about the cold war, focussing on an exchange of prisoners between the US and USSR in 1962. The exchange involved two Americans, Francis Powers, the pilot from a U2 spy plane shot down over Russia, and Frederic Pryor, and American student who was not involved in spying but was unfortunate enough to cross into East Germany a few days after the Berlin Wall went up and be arrested by the Stasi, and Rudolf Abel, a Russian spy living in New York City and trolling for deta ...more
Barry
I'm mostly rather resigned to it, but every now and then I read or see something that reminds me sickeningly just how much the global geo-political circumstances during my entire life have been shaped, for the worse, by the deliberate and bare-faced lying of the U.S. government, usually to exaggerate wildly the scale of 'enemy threats to freedom' - and in so doing to justify the waste of billions and billions of dollars of military spending, to justify all kinds of heinous and murderous interven ...more
Daniel Keane
Great Story

This is a great story. A little slow at times but fascinating insight into the world of cold war espionage. I'm sure this was a difficult story to tell but I think the author did a pretty good job. Just had a little too much "filler" for my taste.
Joseph Naylor
I found out about this book after seeing a trailer for the upcoming movie starring Tom Hanks. The premise of the book is about two Americans and one Soviet who are exchanged for each other in 1961 in secrecy. One of the Americans, Mr. Powers, was a surveillance pilot in the U2 program. Other readers have commented that they were upset that so much of the book was dedicated to his story and towards the U2 program at large, but that was what drew me to the book. The U2 was a high altitude airplane ...more
Mike Van
A brilliant read, steeped in information and even some humor.

My only issue is that some of the information is presented in an opinionated manor, although this does not detour the facts in anyway.

A must read for anybody interested in the evolution and adaptation of espionage in the crux of the Cold War, or for anybody interested in the War itself. The sources in this book are thoroughly unique and wide spread, from both sides of the conflict to deliver a retrospective unmatched elsewhere.
Marin Popa
The times, lives and motivations of the main participants to an important incident of the cold war era are presented in detail in a very atractive - thriller like style.
Above all, the main lesson is that the secret agencies and politicians could make monstrous mistakes and the this incident could have had horific consequences.
Anthony Taylor
A great cold war account of a story that I thought I knew a great deal about. I was wrong, this book provides an atmospheric and interesting account of all that leads up to the famous spy swap of the cold war. The U2 story is well documented but I believe Giles Whittell provides us with the most complete account.
Freyja Vanadis
I'm not sure I understood everything that happened or who all the playrs were, so I should probably wait several months and read it again to see if it becomes clearer to me.
Also, I thought it was going to be more of an actual spy story based on actual happenings, not a dry telling of history.
Mary
Interesting account. I haven't read much about the Cold War, so I appreciated much of that history. The storytelling was a little difficult. Not the smoothest non-fiction out there, but I wanted to read the story before the movie came out!
Vince
Nice solid book. The author tells the stories of the three people who end up getting swapped in Berlin in 1962. There's little new information about Powers or Fisher but I knew nothing of the wandering student Pryor and what he went through. Good book that has an authentic ring to it.
David Snashall
An interesting history, but the narrative meanders too much, which diminished from potential of the story.
Erik Walz
Good book, learned some interesting facts about the U2 program that i was not aware of.
Kate
Jul 06, 2011 Kate is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Just started - so far, so good!
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