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In dealing with the story of Francis Gary Powers and his imprisonment in Russia after being shot down in a spy flight, this book has an immediacy more typical of the magazine field than of books. It not only takes the reader through the Powers- Abel prisoner exchange of last February, but deals with Powers' testimony before Congress and with the C.I.A.----testimony given only this spring. The book is written by two skilled, well-informed newspapermen who followed the Powers story. They supply us with a wealth of facts, not only about Powers and his background, but about the U-2 operation in the Near East, the history of the high-flying ""black lady of espionage"" plane, and the way the story was broken in Russia and the United States. Eisenhower's embarrassed reaction, Khrushchev's triumphant one, and the destructive effect the flight had on the 1960 Paris Summit Conference are also dealt with in detail. After assembling these facts and presenting them in terse, sharply focused chapters, the authors conclude that Powers was not the coward he has been accused of being, but in his actions proved himself an extraordinary man. Although one feels the book does not quite sustain this thesis, it does give one of the best views yet of an espionage cause celebre of our time. Important, but still a ""quickie"".

Pub Date: May 18th, 1962
Publisher: Random House