By Giles Whittell
The dramatic occasions in the back of the movie, BRIDGE OF SPIES.
Who have been the 3 males the yank and Soviet superpowers exchanged at Berlin's Glienicke Bridge and Checkpoint Charlie within the first and so much mythical prisoner trade among East and West? Bridge of Spies vividly lines their paths to that alternate on February 10, 1962, whilst their destiny helped to outline the conflicts and deadly undercurrents of the main harmful years of the chilly War.
Bridge of Spies is the real tale of 3 impressive characters – William Fisher, alias Rudolf Abel, a British born KGB agent arrested via the FBI in manhattan urban and jailed as a Soviet superspy for attempting to scouse borrow America’s Most worthy nuclear secrets and techniques; Gary Powers, the yankee U-2 pilot who was once captured while his airplane used to be shot down whereas flying a reconnaissance undertaking over the closed towns of significant Russia; and Frederic Pryor, a tender American graduate scholar in Berlin mistakenly pointed out as a undercover agent, arrested and held for gratis by means of the Stasi, East Germany’s mystery police.
By weaving the 3 strands of this tale jointly for the 1st time, Giles Whittell masterfully portrays the serious political tensions and nuclear brinkmanship that introduced the USA and Soviet Union so just about a sizzling battle within the early Nineteen Sixties. He finds the dramatic lives of fellows drawn into the nadir of the chilly conflict via accountability and interest, and the tragicomedy of error that at last caused Khrushchev to ship missiles to Castro. of his subjects — the secret agent and the pilot — were the unique seekers of guns of mass destruction. The 3rd, an highbrow, fluent in German, unencumbered by means of dependents, and studying a Ph.D. thesis at the international alternate process of the Soviet bloc, looked as if it would the Stasi exactly the type of individual the CIA must have been recruiting. He was once no longer. In over his head on this planet capital of spying, he was once wrongly charged with espionage and therefore got here to the Agency’s detect via a extra roundabout path. the 3 males have been rescued opposed to daunting odds through destiny and by way of their households, after which all yet forgotten. but they laid naked the pathological distrust that fueled the fingers race for the subsequent 30 years.
Drawing on new interviews performed within the usa, Europe and Russia with key gamers within the alternate and the occasions resulting in it, between them Frederic Pryor himself and the fellow who shot down Gary Powers, Bridge of Spies captures a time while the destiny of the area particularly did depend upon coded messages on microdots and courageous younger males in strain fits. The trade that frigid day at of the main delicate issues alongside the Iron Curtain represented step one again from the place the superpowers had stood because the development of the Berlin Wall the former summer season – close to international struggle III.
From the Hardcover edition.