The Cold War

 

Dunmore, Helen.  Betrayl (Fig Tree, 2010).

Leningrad in 1952 is a city recovering from war, where Andrei, a young hospital doctor and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are forging a life together. Summers at the dacha, preparations for the hospital ball, work and the care of sixteen year old Kolya fill their minds. They try hard to avoid coming to the attention of the authorities, but even so their private happiness is precarious. Stalin is still in power, and the Ministry for State Security has new targets in its sights. When Andrei has to treat the seriously ill child of a senior secret police officer, Volkov, he finds himself and his family caught in an impossible game of life and death - for in a land ruled by whispers and watchfulness, betrayal can come from those closest to you. A gripping and deeply moving portrait of life in post-war Soviet Russia, "The Betrayal" brilliantly shows the epic struggle of ordinary people to survive in a time of violence and terror.

 

 

Marton, Kati.  Enemies of the People (Simon and Schuster, 2010).

Enemies of the People is a "tour de force," an important work of history as it was lived, a narrative of multiple betrayals on both sides of the Cold War that ends with triumph and a new beginning in America.

In this true-life thriller Kati Marton, an award-winning journalist, exposes the cruel mechanics of the Communist Terror State using the secret police files on her parents, as well as dozens of interviews that reveal how her family was spied on and betrayed by friends, colleagues, and even their children’s babysitter. In this moving and brave memoir, Marton searches for and finds her parents and love.

 

 

Potok, Chaim.  The Gates of November (Ballantine Boks, 1997).

The father is a high-ranking Communist officer, a Jew who survived Stalin's purges. The son is a "refusenik," who risked his life and happiness to protest everything his father held dear. Now, Chaim Potok, beloved author of the award-winning novels The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev, unfolds the gripping true story of a father, a son, and a conflict that spans Soviet history. Drawing on taped interviews and his harrowing visits to Russia, Potok traces the public and privates lives of the Slepak family: Their passions and ideologies, their struggles to reconcile their identities as Russians and as Jews, their willingness to fight--and die--for diametrically opposed political beliefs.

 

Sheehan, Neil.  A Fiery Peace in a Cold War (Vintage, 2010).

In this long-awaited history, Neil Sheehan, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, describes the US-Soviet arms race through the story of the colorful and visionary American Air Force officer, Bernard Schriever. This never-before-told story details Schriever’s quest to prevent the Soviet Union from acquiring nuclear superiority, and describes American efforts to develop the unstoppable nuclear-weapon delivery system, the intercontinental ballistic missle, the first weapons meant to deter an atomic holocaust rather than to be fired in anger. In this sweeping narrative, Sheehan brings to life a huge cast of some of the most intriguing characters of the cold war, including the brilliant physicist John Von Neumann, and the hawkish Air Force general, Curtis LeMay. Melding biography, history, world affairs, and science, A Fiery Peace in a Cold War transports the reader back and forth from individual drama to world stage.