Spy Pilot: Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident, and a Controversial Cold War Legacy

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Francis Gary Powers rose to infamy when his U-2 plane was shot down over the USSR on May 1, 1960. He was immediately detained and his capture was heralded by Premier Sergei Khrushchev while the United States issued worthless denials about the purpose of Powers’ overflight. Powers would be swapped for Russian spy Rudolf Abel in 1962, Powers received mixed reactions when arriving stateside. But who was Francis Gary Powers? He was born and raised in the backwoods of Appalachia. His father wanted nothing more than escape from toil in the coal mines that dotted the landscape. Power’s father, Oliver, wanted Gary to become a doctor. Gary went against the grain and enrolled in the Air Force. The nation was in the grips of the superpower standoff of the Cold War, any flinch could yield global annihilation. The advancement of the arms race begat the design of stealth aircraft and spycraft. This would lead to the U-2 debacle and would cloud his remaining years. But answers would be unearthed over time.

Spy Pilot is an emotionally taut re-telling of a dark time in US history. It is also a biography of a forgotten person who found himself at the center of it all. Francis Gary Powers Jr. has performed a service to his father and the world for lifting the curtain on his father and his life.


Reviewed By:

Author Francis Gary Powers Jr. • Keith Dunnavant • Sergei Khrushchev, Foreword
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publish Date 2019-01-22
ISBN 9781633884687
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue Mar-19
Category History
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