Strangers on a Bridge: The Case of Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers

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The #1 New York Times bestseller and subject of the acclaimed major motion picture Bridge of Spies directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks as James B. Donovan.

Originally published in 1964, this is the “enthralling…truly remarkable” (The New York Times Book Review) insider account of the Cold War spy exchange—with a new foreword by Jason Matthews, New York Times bestselling author of Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason.

In the early morning of February 10, 1962, James B. Donovan began his walk toward the center of the Glienicke Bridge, the famous “Bridge of Spies” which then linked West Berlin to East. With him, walked Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, master spy and for years the chief of Soviet espionage in the United States. Approaching them from the other side, under equally heavy guard, was Francis Gary Powers, the American U-2 spy plane pilot famously shot down by the Soviets, whose exchange for Abel Donovan had negotiated. These were the strangers on a bridge, men of East and West, representatives of two opposed worlds meeting in a moment of high drama.

Abel was the most gifted, the most mysterious, the most effective spy in his time. His trial, which began in a Brooklyn United States District Court and ended in the Supreme Court of the United States, chillingly revealed the methods and successes of Soviet espionage.

No one was better equipped to tell the whole absorbing history than James B. Donovan, who was appointed to defend one of his country’s enemies and did so with scrupulous skill. In Strangers on a Bridge, the lead prosecutor in the Nuremburg Trials offers a clear-eyed and fast-paced memoir that is part procedural drama, part dark character study and reads like a noirish espionage thriller. From the first interview with Abel to the exchange on the bridge in Berlin—and featuring unseen photographs of Donovan and Abel as well as trial notes and sketches drawn from Abel’s prison cell—here is an important historical narrative that is “as fascinating as it is exciting” (The Houston Chronicle).
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About the author

Born in New York City in 1916, James B. Donovan graduated from Fordham University and Harvard Law School. A commander in the Navy during World War II, he became general counsel of the Office of Strategic Services and was associate prosecutor at the principal Nuremberg trial. Mr. Donovan subsequently acted as chief counsel in major trials and appeals in over thirty states, and was an insurance lawyer and partner at Watters and Donovan. He was Democratic candidate for United States Senator from New York in 1962; served as general counsel for the Cuban Families Committee, obtaining the release of more than 9,700 Cubans and Americans from Castro’s Cuba; was president of Pratt Institute; and was president of the Board of Education of the City of New York. He died in 1970, and was survived by his wife and four children.

Jason Matthews is a retired officer of the CIA’s Operations Directorate. Over a thirty-three-year career he served in multiple overseas locations and engaged in clandestine collection of national security intelli­gence, specializing in denied-area operations. Matthews conducted recruitment operations against Soviet–East European, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean targets. As Chief in various CIA Stations, he collaborated with foreign partners in counterproliferation and counterterrorism operations. He is the author of Red Sparrow, Palace of Treason, and The Kremlin's Candidate. He lives in Southern California.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 4, 2015
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Pages
464
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ISBN
9781501118791
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Military
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
True Crime / Espionage
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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With an epilogue on recent Russian spying, a “page-turner of a memoir” (Publishers Weekly) about an American civilian with a dream, who worked as a double agent with the FBI in the early 2000s to bring down a Russian intelligence agent in New York City.

For three nerve-wracking years, from 2005 to 2008, Naveed Jamali spied on America for the Russians, trading thumb drives of sensitive technical data for envelopes of cash, selling out his beloved country across noisy restaurant tables and in quiet parking lots. Or so the Russians believed. In fact, Jamali was a covert double agent working with the FBI. The Cold War wasn’t really over. It had just gone high-tech.

“A classic case of American counterespionage from the inside…a never-ending game of cat and mouse” (The Wall Street Journal), How to Catch a Russian Spy is the story of how one young man’s post-college-adventure became a real-life intelligence coup. Incredibly, Jamali had no previous counterespionage experience. Everything he knew about undercover work he’d picked up from TV cop shows and movies, yet he convinced the FBI and the Russians they could trust him. With charm, cunning, and bold naiveté, he matched wits with a veteran Russian military-intelligence officer, out-maneuvering him and his superiors. Along the way, Jamali and his FBI handlers exposed espionage activities at the Russian Mission to the United Nations.

Jamali now reveals the full riveting story behind his double-agent adventure—from coded signals on Craigslist to clandestine meetings at Hooter’s to veiled explanations to his worried family. He also brings the story up to date with an epilogue showing how the very same playbook the Russians used on him was used with spectacularly more success around the 2016 election. Cinematic, news-breaking, and “an entertaining and breezy read” (The Washington Post), How to Catch a Russian Spy is an armchair spy fantasy brought to life.
A riveting true-life thriller and revealing memoir from the daughter of an American intelligence officer—the astonishing true story of two spies and their families on opposite sides of the Cold War.

In the summer of 1975, seventeen-year-old Eva Dillon was living in New Delhi with her family when her father was exposed as a CIA spy. Eva had long believed that her father was a U.S. State Department employee. She had no idea that he was handling the CIA’s highest-ranking double agent—Dmitri Fedorovich Polyakov—a Soviet general whose code name was TOPHAT. Dillon’s father and Polyakov had a close friendship that went back years, to their first meeting in Burma in the mid-1960s. At the height of the Cold War, the Russian offered the CIA an unfiltered view into the vault of Soviet intelligence. His collaboration helped ensure that tensions between the two nuclear superpowers did not escalate into a shooting war.

Spanning fifty years and three continents, Spies in the Family is a deeply researched account of two families on opposite sides of the lethal espionage campaigns of the Cold War, and two men whose devoted friendship lasted a lifetime, until the devastating final days of their lives. With impeccable insider access to both families as well as knowledgeable CIA and FBI officers, Dillon goes beyond the fog of secrecy to craft an unforgettable story of friendship and betrayal, double agents and clandestine lives, that challenges our notions of patriotism, exposing the commonality between peoples of opposing political economic systems.

Both a gripping tale of spy craft and a moving personal story, Spies in the Family is an invaluable and heart-rending work.

Spies in the Family includes 25 black-and-white photos.

 A few days earlier, the plane and its crew had been declared missing. The Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, had announced two of the US spy flight crew had been captured. The crewmen would stand trial as spies and, if convicted, executed. And the US base in England, from which the flight had originated, would be bombed. Within days, thousands of “Ban the Bomb” protesters were outside the base fences, being held back by the British Army. Inside the fences, US Air Force security guards, responsible for the protection of the nuclear armed and fueled Strategic Air Command Bombers, were betting on which of them would be the first. The first to kill a protester who cleared the inner fence. I remembered, while reflecting back on my life, that this wasn’t an everyday occurrence. But it was one of many life-changing events that potentially could have changed the world.

While searching through my memories to answer my own question, Why am I me? and to answer my grown children’s many questions about our family, I decided to write down the answers. The result was this book—a book about the Cold War and the men who fought it, a story about the men and tangentially their families, who served on the front lines, protecting us from the threat of Communism. But the book is about more than the Cold War and nuclear brinksmanship. It’s a book about heroism, heartbreak, courage, spies, sacrifice, suicides, and murders. And it is still a book that answers my questions, “Who am I?” and “Why am I me?” Now I know!

The dramatic events behind the Oscar-winning film, Bridge of Spies, tracing the paths leading to the first and most legendary prisoner exchange between East and West at Berlin's Glienicke Bridge and Checkpoint Charlie on February 10, 1962.

Bridge of Spies is the true story of three extraordinary characters whose fate helped to define the conflicts and lethal undercurrents of the most dangerous years of the Cold War: William Fisher, alias Rudolf Abel, a British born KGB agent arrested by the FBI in New York City and jailed as a Soviet superspy for trying to steal America’s most precious nuclear secrets; Gary Powers, the American U-2 pilot who was captured when his plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over the closed cities of central Russia; and Frederic Pryor, a young American graduate student in Berlin mistakenly identified as a spy, arrested and held without charge by the Stasi, East Germany’s secret police. The three men were rescued against daunting odds, and then all but forgotten. Yet they laid bare the pathological mistrust that fueled the arms race for the next 30 years.

Weaving the three strands of this story together for the first time, Giles Whittell masterfully portrays the intense political tensions and nuclear brinkmanship that brought the United States and Soviet Union so close to a hot war in the early 1960s. He reveals the dramatic lives of men drawn into the nadir of the Cold War by duty and curiosity, and the tragicomedy of errors that eventually induced Nikita Khrushchev to send missiles to Fidel Castro.

Drawing on new interviews conducted in the United States, Europe and Russia with key players in the exchange and the events leading to it, among them Frederic Pryor himself and the man who shot down Gary Powers, Bridge of Spies captures a time when the fate of the world really did depend on coded messages on microdots and brave young men in pressure suits. The exchange that frigid day at two of the most sensitive points along the Iron Curtain represented the first step back from where the superpowers had stood since the building of the Berlin Wall the previous summer--on the brink of World War III.
"This is the best book on Apollo that I have read. Extensively researched and meticulously accurate, it successfully traces not only the technical highlights of the program but also the contributions of the extraordinary people who made it possible." -Mike Collins, command module pilot, Apollo 11
When the alarm went off forty thousand feet above the moon's surface, both astronauts looked down at the computer to see 1202 flashing on the readout. Neither of them knew what it meant, and time was running out...
ON JULY 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. One of the world's greatest technological achievements-and a triumph of American spirit and ingenuity-the Apollo 11 mission was a mammoth undertaking involving more than 410,000 men and women dedicated to winning the space race against the Soviets. Set amid the tensions of the Cold War and the upheavals of the sixties, and filled with first-person, behind-the-scenes details, Shoot for theMoon is a gripping account of the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that came before it. From the shock of Sputnik and the heart-stopping final minutes of John Glenn's Mercury flight to the deadly whirligig of Gemini 8, the doomed Apollo 1 mission, and that perilous landing on the Sea of Tranquility-when the entire world held its breath while Armstrong and Aldrin battled computer alarms, low fuel, and other problems- James Donovan tells the whole story.
Both sweeping and intimate, Shoot for the Moon is "a powerfully written and irresistible celebration" (Booklist, starred review) of one of humankind's most extraordinary feats of exploration.
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