Bridge of Spies by Giles Whittell

Genre: modern history
Secondary genre: cold war, espionage
Format read: audiobook
Rating: planchet-4

Though the Cold War has been over for nearly a lifetime, the repercussions of that tense period in world history can still be felt. This book is the story of how a very bad spy and a man who wasn’t a spy but was accused of espionage anyway, and a pilot in the wrong place at the wrong time, wound up on a bridge on the edge of the iron curtain in a forgotten prisoner exchange that prevented the Cold War from turning hot.

This book tracks two sides of the same story up to the point where the finally converge on that isolated bridge.

While it started out somewhat slow for me, this book was a fascinating look at the politics of the time. I also can’t help but give points to the author for pointing out, practically on page one, that’s it’s essentially the story of privileged white men, most of whom were far more confident than their skills actually merited. As the book went on, however, things started to get more and more intense.

I don’t want to give away too much, since this is a work of nonfiction. If you want to look at the tensions between Russia and the US and where they started, then this would be a good choice for your TBR.