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Publisher's Summary

U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is a central character in the movie Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks. In his classic 1970 memoir, Powers reveals the full story behind what happened in the most sensational espionage case in Cold War history. After his U-2 reconnaissance plane was shot down, Powers was captured on May 1, 1960 and endured 61 days of rigorous interrogation by the KGB, a public trial, a conviction for espionage, and the start of a 10-year sentence. After nearly two years, the US government obtained his release from prison in a dramatic exchange for convicted Soviet spy Rudolph Abel.

The narrative is a tremendously exciting suspense story about a man who was labeled a traitor by many of his countrymen but who emerged a Cold War hero.

©1970, 2015 Frances Gary Powers (P)2015 Random House Audio

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A magnificent historical biography

A beautifully written and moving portrayal of one of America's finest aviators and heroes.

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  • JP
  • 12-07-2017

Astonding

This is brilliant brilliant book. And the epilogue by his son is a must read.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jacquelyn
  • 28-02-2018

What A TOTAL Tragedy !

Bad enough Powers was shot down and spent almost 2 years in jail. He went by the book, revealed minimal information to his captors and went according to orders.
Powers gets home and is treated worse over all by the U.S. by not supporting him in the long run in his further employment or retirement. Awards were withheld that he of all people was very worthy of receiving. Politics, politics, politics and CYA by the American Gov’t from the time he is shot down to beyond his passing on in a most useless death. Very shameful on behalf of the U.S. gov’t.
I learned a lot from this book. It had some pretty incredible surprises and disappointments for Powers. I feel very badly he was treated this way. Even Eisenhower wasn’t informed on many parts of Powers’ mission. If it was that bad then, it’s scary how bad it could be now.
EXCELLENT book but very heart breaking for Powers.

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  • Jahn
  • 25-12-2017

Fascinating account

This is a fascinating account of the U2 incident. As someone quite familiar with the event, the insiders perspective this book provides is a real treat. Unexpectedly well written and structured book. I don’t have any particular dislikes other than some sensitive information being withheld as during the time of writing some items that have since been declassified were still classified at the time. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in cold war history or insights into prison life in Russia.

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  • Cato Moen
  • 16-06-2016

A Hero.

A good book with a sad story. Book to be read to know the history

1 person found this helpful

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  • June Heaton
  • 01-04-2021

Excellent

Must read for anyone interested in the cold war. It was good to hear the first hand experience of Gary Powers.

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  • ksoosk
  • 13-03-2021

Outstanding

A must read for every American. An American Hero. Such a shame how he was treated by the Government and incredibly bad journalism.

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  • Reece
  • 25-12-2020

Incredible

Best book on my Audible. Kept my interest. It's a true story of an American Hero.

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  • NeverB4
  • 23-08-2019

Excellent Piece of History

What a fascinating and sad story about the reality of one of the greatest stories in America's history. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family who, without question, paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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  • Larry A. Jasek
  • 19-12-2017

enjoyed out

very good piece of history. an incident that changed the world in a time of a changing world

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-12-2017

I couldn't put it down.

This is a facinating story and gives insight into not only the espionage of the cold war, but life in prison for the unjustly tried. interesting and Insightful.

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  • Tim
  • 23-05-2017

Overflight

a very interesting story of the incident from the man that was there in the thick of it all. I think gary was not treated well by his government or the agency he worked for. really enjoyed this.

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  • Ray Dring
  • 24-09-2015

A small but world changing episode of the cold war.

This is a truly excellent book for anyone interested in the history of the cold war even though it is but a small chapter.
It is another example of how the political wheelers and dealers of the state will shift their blame on to the people it has shackled by regulation, so they cannot fight back, even when those very people are the most patriotic members of that society.

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