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Our Cold War history books reveal all about the conflict that followed the end of World War II.

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Post-WW2 Conflicts

Our Cold War history books reveal all about the conflict that followed the end of World War II.

  • The Spy and the Traitor

    Ben MacIntyre

    Product Code: BXIOU
    Paperback
    *Shortlisted for the 2018 Ballie Gifford Prize* 'THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN LE CARRE A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever...
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  • The Skripal Files

    Mark Urban

    Product Code: BZPJC
    Paperback
    'A scrupulous piece of reporting, necessary, timely and very sobering' John Le Carre A Sunday Times Best Book of 2018 Agent. Prisoner. Target. Who is Sergei Skripal? 4 March 2018, Salisbury, England. A man and his daughter are found slumped on a bench, poisoned by the deadly nerve agent Novichok. He was a Russian national that became a MI6 spy. Russia are publicly accused of carrying out the attack by the British government, sparking a diplomatic crisis between Russia and the West. Then two innocent people find a discarded perfume bottle used in the attack and one of them, Dawn Sturgess, tragically dies. It is now a murder investigation. How exactly did we get here? Based on interviews with Sergei before his poisoning, Mark Urban explains the most shocking espionage incident in a decade. Describing precisely how an otherwise loyal Russian intelligence officer was turned into an agent by MI6, how Skripal was betrayed so that he found himself in a Siberian prison, and why, years later, was he was targeted for assassination.
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  • Angolan War of Liberation

    Venter, Al J

    Product Code: BSNVW
    Paperback
    When a large group of rebels invaded Angola from a recently independent Congo in 1961, it heralded the opening shots in another African war of independence. Between 1961 and 1974, Portugal faced the extremely ambitious task of conducting three simultaneous counterinsurgency campaigns to preserve its hegemony of Angola, Portuguese Guinea and Mozambique. While other European states were falling over themselves in granting independence to their African possessions, Portugal chose to stay and fight despite the odds against success. That it did so successfully for thirteen years in a distant multi-fronted war remains a remarkable achievement, particularly for a nation of such modest resources. For example, in Angola the Portuguese had a tiny air force of possibly a dozen transport planes, a squadron or two of F-86s and perhaps twenty helicopters: and that in a remote African country twice the size of Texas. Portugal proved that such a war can be won. In Angola victory was complete. However, the political leadership proved weak and irresolute, and this encouraged communist elements within the military to stage a coup in April 1974 and lead a capitulation to the insurgent movements, squandering the hard-won military and social gains and abandoning Portugal's African citizens to generations of civil war and destitution.
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  • BRIXMIS

    Steve Gibson

    Product Code: BROYI
    Paperback
    BRIXMIS (British Commander-in-Chief's Mission to the Group Soviet Forces of Occupation in Germany) is one of the most covert elite units of the British Army. They were dropped in behind `enemy lines' ten months after the Second World War had ended and continued with their intelligence-gathering missions until the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. During this period Berlin was a hotbed of spying between East and West. BRIXMIS was established as a trusted channel of communication between the Red Army and the British Army on the Rhine. However, they acted in the shadows to steal advanced Soviet equipment and penetrate top-secret training areas. Here Steve Gibson offers a new understanding of the complex British role in the Cold War.
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  • The Spy Who Came in from the Co-Op

    David Burke

    Product Code: BDEAS
    Paperback
    On September 11th 1999 The Times newspaper carried the front page article "Revealed: the quiet woman who betrayed Britain for 40 years. The spy who came in from the Co-op." Melita Norwood, the last of the atomic spies, had finally been run to ground, but at 87 she was deemed too old to prosecute. Her crime: the shortening of the Soviet Union's atomic bomb project by up to 5 years. At a time when the world faces fresh dilemmas caused by the proliferation of nuclear weapons, this is the remarkable story of a much earlier drama. After the atomic bomb strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, British and American intelligence estimated the earliest date for the production of a Soviet bomb to be 1953. In fact, the Soviet Union went nuclear in 1948, and tested an atomic bomb in 1949. The Soviet Union's bomb coincided with the onset of The Cold War, and threatened humankind with extinction. Melita Norwood was a member of one of those communist spy networks in America and Britain, who by guaranteeing those weapons of mass destruction threw down a challenge to America as sole superpower in the post-Second World War era. This fascinating book sets her in the context of the times, and uses her as a prism and focus through which to investigate the whole milieu. Dr DAVID BURKE is a Supervisor for the Rise of the Secret World: Governments and Intelligence Communities since 1900 at the University of Cambridge.
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  • Last Soldiers of the Cold War: The Story of the Cuban Five

    Fernando Morais

    Product Code: BABBO
    Paperback
    Here is the story of political prisoners finally freed in December 2014, after being held captive by the United States since the late 1990s. Through the 1980s and 1990s, violent anti-Castro groups based in Florida carried out hundreds of military attacks on Cuba, bombing hotels and shooting up Cuban beaches with machine guns. The Cuban government struck back with the Wasp Network--a dozen men and two women--sent to infiltrate those organizations. "The Last Soldiers of the Cold War" tells the story of those unlikely Cuban spies and their eventual unmasking and prosecution by US authorities. Five of the Cubans received long or life prison terms on charges of espionage and murder. Global best-selling Brazilian author Fernando Morais narrates the riveting tale of the Cuban Five in vivid, page-turning detail, delving into the decades-long conflict between Cuba and the US, the growth of the powerful Cuban exile community in Florida, and a trial that eight Nobel Prize winners condemned as a travesty of justice. "The Last Soldiers of the Cold War" is both a real-life spy thriller and a searching examination of the Cold War's legacy.
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  • Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns of the Soviet Union

    Mike Guardia

    Product Code: BAAFY
    Paperback
    During the Cold War, the Soviet Army was perhaps the deadliest fighting force the world had ever seen. Within its mechanized forces, the Soviets accomplished something that their American counterparts never could - the fielding of a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) that could keep pace with its heavy armored formations. This volume examines the design, development and operational history of the Soviet Union's Cold War SPAAGs: the ZSU-37, ZSU-57-2, the infamous ZSU-23-4, and the 9K22 Tunguska (better known by its NATO reporting name: SA-19 'Grison'). These vehicles excelled in their air defense role, and many US Department of Defense publications were dedicated to examining how to defeat the ZSU and its radar tracking system. These formidable weapons equipped Russian forces in Afghanistan and were encountered again in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, cementing their place in the landscape of modern warfare. This study explores the full history of the SPAAGs with revealing photographs, technical illustrations and detailed analysis.
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  • Stalin's Curse

    Robert Gellately

    Product Code: AYLPN
    Paperback
    The Second World War almost destroyed Stalin's Soviet Union. But victory over Nazi Germany provided the dictator with his great opportunity: to expand Soviet power way beyond the borders of the Soviet state. Well before the shooting stopped in 1945, the Soviet leader methodically set about the unprecedented task of creating a Red Empire that would soon stretch into the heart of Europe and Asia, displaying a supreme realism and ruthlessness that Machiavelli would surely have envied. By the time of his death in 1953, his new imperium was firmly in place, defining the contours of a Cold War world that was seemingly permanent and indestructible - and would last until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But what were Stalin's motives in this spectacular power grab? Was he no more than a latter-day Russian tsar, for whom Communist ideology was little more than a smoke-screen? Or was he simply a psychopathic killer? In Stalin's Curse, best-selling historian Robert Gellately firmly rejects both these simplifications of the man and his motives. Using a wealth of previously unavailable documentation, Gellately shows instead how Stalin's crimes are more accurately understood as the deeds of a ruthless and life-long Leninist revolutionary. Far from being a latter day 'Red Tsar' intent simply upon imperial expansion for its own sake, Stalin was in fact deeply inspired by the rhetoric of the Russian revolution and what Lenin had accomplished during the Great War. As Gellately convincingly shows, Stalin remained throughout these years steadfastly committed to a 'boundless faith' in Communism - and saw the Second World War as his chance to take up once again the old revolutionary mission to carry the Red Flag to the world.
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  • A Spy Among Friends

    Ben Macintyre

    Product Code: AMRBM
    Paperback
    Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. Philby's two closest friends in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all. This is a story of intimate duplicity; of loyalty, trust and treachery, class and conscience; of an ideological battle waged by men with cut-glass accents and well-made suits in the comfortable clubs and restaurants of London and Washington; of male friendships forged, and then systematically betrayed. With access to newly released MI5 files and previously unseen family papers, and with the cooperation of former officers of MI6 and the CIA, this definitive biography unlocks what is perhaps the last great secret of the Cold War.
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  • Cilka's Journey

    Heather Morris

    Product Code: BZSDM
    Hardback
    Based on the heart-breaking true story of Cilka Klein, Cilka's Journey is the sequel to the internationally No.1 bestselling phenomenon, The Tattooist of Auschwitz 'She was the bravest person I ever met' Lale Sokolov, The Tattooist of Auschwitz In 1942 Cilka Klein is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival. After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator by the Russians and sent to a desolate, brutal prison camp in Siberia known as Vorkuta, inside the Arctic Circle. Innocent, imprisoned once again, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, each day a battle for survival. Cilka befriends a woman doctor, and learns to nurse the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under unimaginable conditions. And when she tends to a man called Alexandr, Cilka finds that despite everything, there is room in her heart for love. Cilka's Journey is a powerful testament to the triumph of the human will. It will move you to tears, but it will also leave you astonished and uplifted by one woman's fierce determination to survive, against all odds.
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  • Black Sun

    Owen Matthews

    Product Code: CAXBN
    Hardback
    1961. Hidden deep within the forests of central Soviet Russia is a place that doesn't appear on any map: a city called Arzamas-16. Here a community of dedicated scientists, technicians and engineers are building the most powerful nuclear device the world will ever see - three thousand times more powerful than Hiroshima. But ten days before the bomb is to be tested, a young physicist is found dead. His body contains enough radioactive poison to kill thousands. The Arzamas authorities believe it is suicide - they want the corpse disposed of and the incident forgotten. But someone in Moscow is alarmed by what's going on in this strange, isolated place. And so Major Alexander Vasin - a mostly good KGB officer - is despatched to Arzamas to investigate. What he finds there is unlike anything he's experienced before. His wits will be tested against some of the most brilliant minds in the Soviet Union - eccentrics, patriots and dissidents who, because their work is considered to be of such vital national importance, have been granted the freedom to think and act, live and love as they wish. In Arzamas, nothing can be allowed to get in the way of the project. Not even murder . . . Intricately researched, cunningly plotted and brilliantly told, Black Sun is a fast-paced and timely thriller set at the height - and in the heart - of Soviet power.
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  • The Battle for Laos

    Stephen Emerson

    Product Code: BZRUR
    Paperback
    By 1959 the newly independent Kingdom of Laos was being transformed into a Cold War battleground for global superpower competition, having been born out of the chaos following the French military defeat and withdrawal from Indochina in 1954\. The country was soon engulfed in a rapidly evolving civil war as rival forces jockeyed for power and swelling foreign intervention further fueled the fighting. Adding even more fuel to the fire, neutral Laos's geographic entanglement in the intensifying war in neighboring South Vietnam deepened in the early 1960s as Hanoi's reliance on the Ho Chi Minh Trail for moving men and mat rial through the southern Laotian panhandle grew exponentially and became a priority target of American interdiction efforts. For almost twenty years, the fighting between the Western-supported Royal Lao government and the communist-supported Pathet Lao would rage across the plains, jungles, and mountaintops largely unseen by most of the world in this so-called secret war. Thousands on each side would die and many more would be displaced as the conflict on the ground ebbed and flowed from season to season and year to year. And in the skies above, American and Royal Laotian aircraft would rain down their deadly payloads, decimating large swaths of the countryside in pursuit of victory. Nearly 3 million tons of bombs would be dropped on Laotian territory between 1965 and 1973, leaving a deadly legacy of unexploded ordnance that lingers to this day. Thus, the battle for Laos is the story of entire communities and generations caught up in a war seemingly without end, one that pitted competing foreign interests and their proxies against each other, and one that was forever tied to Washington's pursuit of victory in Vietnam.
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  • Post Wall, Post Square

    Kristina Spohr

    Product Code: BZQCX
    Hardback
    This landmark global study makes us rethink what happened when the Cold War ended and our present era was born. The world changed dramatically as the Berlin Wall fell and protest turned to massacre in Tiananmen Square. Now, with deft analysis and a wealth of newly declassified archival sources, historian Kristina Spohr offers a bold and novel interpretation of the revolutionary upheaval of 1989 and, how in its aftermath, a new world order was forged without major conflict. The Post-Wall world, Spohr argues, was brought about in significant measure through the determined diplomacy of a small cohort of international leaders. They engaged in tough but cooperative negotiation and worked together to reinvent the institutions of the Cold War. Exploring this extraordinary historical moment, Spohr offers a major reappraisal of US President George H. W. Bush and innovative assessments of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and President Francois Mitterrand of France. But the transformation of Europe must be understood in global context. Spohr elegantly weaves together the Western and Asian timelines to revelatory effect, by contrasting events in Berlin and Moscow with the story in Beijing, where the pro-democracy movement was brutally suppressed by Deng Xiaoping. Post Square, he pushed through China's very different Communist reinvention. Meticulously researched and brilliantly original, Post Wall, Post Square provides an authoritative contemporary history of those crucial hinge years of 1989-1992 and their implications for our times. The world of Putin, Trump and Xi, with a fractious European Union, rogue states and the crisis of mass migration has its roots in the global exit from the Cold War.
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  • Global Development

    Sara Lorenzini

    Product Code: BZLWI
    Hardback
    In the Cold War, "development" was a catchphrase that came to signify progress, modernity, and economic growth. Development aid was closely aligned with the security concerns of the great powers, for whom infrastructure and development projects were ideological tools for conquering hearts and minds around the globe, from Europe and Africa to Asia and Latin America. In this sweeping and incisive book, Sara Lorenzini provides a global history of development, drawing on a wealth of archival evidence to offer a panoramic and multifaceted portrait of a Cold War phenomenon that transformed the modern world. Taking readers from the aftermath of the Second World War to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, Lorenzini shows how development projects altered local realities, transnational interactions, and even ideas about development itself. She shines new light on the international organizations behind these projects-examining their strategies and priorities and assessing the actual results on the ground-and she also gives voice to the recipients of development aid. Lorenzini shows how the Cold War shaped the global ambitions of development on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and how international organizations promoted an unrealistically harmonious vision of development that did not reflect local and international differences. An unparalleled journey into the political, intellectual, and economic history of the twentieth century, this book presents a global perspective on Cold War development, demonstrating how its impacts are still being felt today.
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  • Secrets and Lies

    Douglas Thompson

    Product Code: BZJZL
    Paperback
    In her own words, the life of the beautiful young model and dancer who helped to bring down the Tory government of Harold Macmillan - the 'Profumo Affair' remains the greatest political sex scandal in recent British history. Following Christine Keeler's death in December 2017, it is now possible to update her book to include revelations that she did not wish to be published in her lifetime. The result is a revised and updated book containing material that has never been officially released, which really does lift the lid on just how far the Establishment will go to protect its own. Published to coincide with the BBC's major new six-part TV drama series, The Trial of Christine Keeler, starring Sophie Cookson as Keeler and James Norton as Stephen Ward
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  • The Price of Freedom

    Volker G. Heinz

    Product Code: BZITT
    Paperback
    Berlin 1966, a city divided by an impenetrable wall erected by the communist German Democratic Republic. Together with his friends, the West German student Volker G. Heinz is looking for ways to help would-be fugitives escape from East to West. Their search ends at Checkpoint Charlie, the most heavily secured border crossing of the Berlin Wall. By hiding the fugitives in the trunk of a diplomat's car, Volker G. Heinz helps more than sixty East German citizens flee to the West. But when the Stasi picks up his trail, Heinz is arrested and interrogated for months in their secret headquarters - today a much visited memorial. In a spectacular move, following secret negotiations and a show trial, Heinz is swapped for two Soviet spies. Uniquely personal, this account of bravery and sacrifice is history at its most vivid.
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  • Cold Warriors

    Duncan White

    Product Code: BZHMB
    Hardback
    In this age of 24-hour news coverage, where rallying cries are made on Twitter and wars are waged in cyberspace as much as on the ground, the idea of a novel as a weapon that can wield any power feels almost preposterous. The Cold War was a time when destruction was merely the press of a button away, but when the real battle between East and West was over the minds and hearts of their people. In this arena the pen really was mightier than the sword. This is a gripping, richly-populated history of spies and journalists, protest and propaganda, idealism and betrayal. And it is the story of how literature changed the course of the Cold War just as much as how Cold War would change the course of literature. Using hitherto classified security files and new archival research White explores the ways in which authors were harnessed by both East and West to impose maximum damage on the opposition; how writers played a pivotal role (sometimes consciously, often not) in the conflict; and how literature became something that was worth fighting and dying for. With a cast that includes George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, Graham Greene, Boris Pasternak, Andrei Sinyavsky, Mary McCarthy and John le Carre, and taking the reader from Spain to America to England and to Russia, this is narrative history at its most enthralling and most pertinent - pertinent because even if on the face of it there is a huge difference between 140 characters and 100,000 words, at the heart of both is the power of stories to change the fate of nations.
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  • Under Pressure

    Richard Humphreys

    Product Code: BZGLO
    Hardback
    Based on the first-hand experiences of a man who served on a submarine during the Cold War, Under Pressure is the shockingly candid, visceral, droll and incredibly entertaining account of what it's like to live in one of the most extreme man-made environments in the world. Richard Humphreys did not grow up near the sea, but in the heart of Britain. Attempting to join the Foreign Legion at just 17 years old, leaving for Marseille little to his parents' knowledge, it was an unexpected epiphany which told him that a career under the sea was for him. He ended up serving in the Royal Navy submarine service for over 5 years from 1985-1990, at the end of the Cold War when skirmishes with Russian subs were still frequent. Underwater, hidden away from the eyes of the world's media, was where the Cold War was at its hottest. This thrilling book depicts the astounding circumstances of someone who finds themselves living in deep underwater. It is not written from a military point of view, although some of that will of course come into it, but it rather concentrates on how it feels to live in this extreme environment - a world without natural light, surrounded by 140 other men, eating the same food, breathing the same air, smelling the same putrid smells, surviving together in some of the most forbidding conditions imaginable. It is a book which takes its cues from the likes of Scott Kelly's Endurance and Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoenacker, both New York Times bestsellers, which shine light on hitherto unexplored professions and allow readers glimpses into worlds they would otherwise never experience. Covering the disorientation of never knowing your exact location, the claustrophobia of bunking with 140 other men in a 430ft x 33ft steel tube for months at a time, and the effort needed to stay calm in an environment which offers no space or natural light, Under Pressure is an honest and gritty portrayal of one of the most unique ways of living known today.
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  • Betrayal in Berlin

    Steve Vogel

    Product Code: BZBLW
    Hardback
    A true Cold War espionage thriller set around the ultra-secret Berlin Tunnel - where British officer George Blake must run a high-stakes double cross to maintain his cover. The ultra-secret "Berlin Tunnel" was dug in the mid-1950s from the American sector in southwest Berlin and ran nearly a quarter-mile into the Soviet sector, allowing the CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) to tap into critical KGB and Soviet military underground telecommunication lines. George Blake, a trusted officer working in a highly sensitive job with SIS, was privy to every aspect of the plan. Over the course of eleven months from May 1955 to April 1956, when the Soviets discovered the tunnel, "Operation Gold" provided seemingly invaluable intelligence about Soviet capabilities and intentions. The tunnel was celebrated as an astonishing CIA coup upon its disclosure, and the agency basked in its new reputation as a bold and capable intelligence agency that had, for once, outwitted the KGB. But in 1961, a Polish defector shocked the CIA and SIS by revealing that Blake was a double agent who had disclosed plans for the tunnel to the KGB before it was even built. Blake was arrested and sentenced in 1961 to 42 years in prison, the longest term ever imposed under modern English law. In the years since, the tunnel has been labelled a failure, based on the assumption that the Soviets would never have allowed any information of importance to be transmitted through the tapped lines. Not so. In a work of remarkable investigative reporting, Steve Vogel now reveals that the information picked up by the CIA and SIS was more valuable than even they believed. But why would the Soviets, knowing full well that the tunnel existed, have let slip many of their most valuable secrets? Or did they actually know?
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  • Cold War Spy Stories from Eastern Europe

    Valentina Glajar

    Product Code: BYYBV
    Hardback
    During the Cold War, spy stories became popular on both sides of the Iron Curtain, capturing the imaginations of readers and film goers alike as secret police outfits quietly engaged in espionage and surveillance under the shroud of utmost secrecy. Curiously, in the post-Cold War period there are no signs of this enthusiasm diminishing. With the opening of the secret police archives in many countries in Eastern Europe comes the unique chance to excavate many forgotten spy stories and narrate them for the first time. Cold War Spy Stories from Eastern Europe brings together a wide range of Cold War spy stories from the Eastern Bloc and explores stories compiled from the East German Stasi, the Romanian Securitate, and the Ukrainian KGB files. This edited volume also investigates spy narratives told in multimodal forms of communication and representation, that is, stories told through different and distinctive combinations of visual, verbal-aural, musical, textual, and gestural signs. Crafted from a blend of memory, fiction, and forensic evidence from the archived files, these stories offer a rediscovery of curious and enigmatic espionage events. By revisiting some little-known DEFA films and their depictions of the East German spy as opposed to the sleek Western James Bond type, Cold War Spy Stories from Eastern Europe explores old and new tropes in espionage films and television dramas. It concludes with a close reading of the moral ambiguity that is prominent in recent Hollywood spy films such as Bridge of Spies and transatlantic television productions about Cold War Germany such as Deutschland 83, which point to a new aesthetic of surveillance and a new post-ideological depiction of the spy. These stories of collusion and complicity, of betrayal and treason, of right and wrong, and of good and evil call into question Cold War certainties and divides.
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  • The Compact Guide: The Cold War

    Norman Friedman

    Product Code: BYYUV
    Paperback
    A graphic account of this long-running global drama, The Compact Guide: The Cold War is published in a new era of fear and uncertainty It encompasses moments of high tension, such as the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the nuclear alerts of 1973 and 1983. At several times the world stood on the brink of nuclear Armageddon, but these dangerous moments all ended with both sides drawing back, until the long confrontation ended peacefully. Written by a leading American defence analyst, Dr Norman Friedman, The Compact Guide: The Cold War is supplemented with 60 photographs and documents that allow the reader to witness the events as they unfolded. Maps, diaries, letters and other items which, up till now, have remained filed or exhibited in the Imperial War Museum and other museum collections in Northern Europe and America include a 1963 nuclear attack protective booklet produced for homeowners by the British government and the official pack for US troops passing through Checkpoint Charlie, with practical advice on visiting Communist-controlled East Berlin.
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  • Prague Spring

    Phil Carradice

    Product Code: BYMKT
    Paperback
    Cold War nadir: January 1968 and in Czechoslovakia the new Communist Party leader Alexander Dubcek has made it clear that this is the opportunity to loosen the Soviet stranglehold on the country. As the Prague winter slowly eases into a Prague spring, it really does seem as if Dubcek has judged it right. Reforms in oppressive censorship laws, improved housing, a lessening of totalitarian oppression, Dubcek promises and delivers on it all. The new regime in Czechoslovakia does seek to destroy communism but it does want to choose its own political destiny. And then, on the night of 20/21 August the Prague Spring is crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion: 200,000 Communist troops, mostly Soviet but also Polish and East German, flood the country. The resulting protests and rallies against the invasion, mostly by young people, are violent and bloody. Hundreds die in clashes; self-immolation, in public and before the eyes of the world, brings home the horror and the depth of feeling in the Czech people. It is the end of the Prague Spring, the reformation of Czechoslovakia having ended in ruins. But despite the brutal crushing of Czech hopes and dreams, the events of 1968 lay the foundations for future change. It will take another two decades but it is, ultimately, where the unravelling of the Communist bloc begins.
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  • The Trieste Crisis 1953

    Bojan Dimitrijevic

    Product Code: BYLXE
    Paperback
    The city of Trieste stands as a symbol of the Italian-Yugoslav border dispute in the first decade after the Second World War. The problem included a much larger territory which covers the wider area of Trieste: ranging from the Julian Alps in the north to the base of the Istrian peninsula in the south; in the area where the Italians meet the South Slavs. Moreover, after the Second World War it was an area of confrontation for two ideologies: western democracy and communism. It was the place where the Iron Curtain lay between the two worlds for many decades of the Cold War. Often discussed from the socio-economic point of view, military aspects of the Trieste Crisis remain remarkably under-reported - and not only in the English language. One of the primary reasons is the relative unavailability of relevant Italian and Yugoslav documentation, but also the general focus on political and ethnic issues instead. The Trieste Crisis focusses on military-related affairs in this part of the world from the `race to Trieste' of May 1945 until the creation of the Free Territory of Trieste and the culmination of tensions between Italy and former Yugoslavia, in October 1953. By the later date, the crisis had reached a point where it resulted in the largest deployment of military forces from both countries. Correspondingly, this work provides a detailed account of the Allied, Italian and Yugoslav military presence in the area befor, and their build-up during this near-war. Paying special attention to the description of the troops involved, their armament and equipment, the heavy weaponry deployed, and aerial and naval forces, The Trieste Crisis is illustrated by more than 150 photographs - most of them never published before - colour profiles and maps, and thus closing a gap in the history of the early Cold War in Europe of the mid-20th Century.
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  • The Russia Anxiety

    Mark B. Smith

    Product Code: BYIAE
    Hardback
    Russia is an exceptional country, the biggest in the world. It is both European and exotic, powerful and weak, brilliant and flawed. Why are we so afraid of it? Time and again, we judge Russia by unique standards. We have usually assumed that it possesses higher levels of cunning, malevolence and brutality. Yet the country has more often than not been a crucial ally, not least against Napoleon and in the two world wars. We admire its music and its writers. We lavish praise on the Russian soul. And still we think of Russia as a unique menace. What is it about this extraordinary country that consistently provokes such excessive responses? And why is this so dangerous? Ranging from the earliest times to the present, Mark B. Smith's remarkable new book is a history of this 'Russia Anxiety'. Whether ally or enemy, superpower or failing state, Russia grips our imagination and fuels our fears unlike any other country. This book shows how history itself offers a clearer view and a better future.
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