by Karen Walch | Jan 22, 2022

It's been 75 years since the Cold War began with spies, bombs, and blockades. Fiction and nonfiction accounts of a different aspects of the Cold War.

Checkmate in Berlin
by Giles Milton

Mostly covering the time period of 1945-1949, this is the lively story of the race to seize Berlin in the aftermath of World War II. Britain, the US, and France military governors enter Berlin, stripped bare after two months of Soviet looting. They try at first to work with the Soviets, but gradually feelings change as Soviets engineer elections, block food and fuel, and change agreements as soon as they are made. Berlin becomes the symbol of Democracy and holding the line on Communism. The Berlin blockade is covered in detail--the hardship on the people and the ingenuity and courage of the Allied leaders.

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Saving Freedom: Truman, the Cold War, and the Fight for Wester Civilization
by Joe Scarborough

Joe Scarborough of MSNBC chronicles the Truman presidency to describe the policy of containment that would become known as the Truman Doctrine. After Britain is unable to continue to provide aid to Greece, only America can afford to provide aid to Europe. Truman proposes a doctrine that would support free peoples who are resisting outside pressures. The policy shifted the U S from 150 years of isolationism, and in the opinion of Winston Churchill, saved the word. The audio book plays Truman giving his famous 1947 introducing the Truman doctrine.

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Bonus: listen to the Book on CD!

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956
by Anne Applebaum

Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum tells the story of how after World War II Joseph Stalin and his secret police set out to convert a dozen radically different countries to Communism. In a well ordered and successful program, Stalin sent in secret police, took over the radio and newspapers, and converted the youth. Using systematic violence and show trials, he intimidated the people and placed them in his control. Using new material recently available from Eastern Europe archives and personal interviews, Applebaum describes life for millions of individuals who were stripped of their belongings and their beliefs.

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by Ion Mihai Pacepa

Ion Pacepa, who in 1978 was granted asylum in the United States was the former the head of intelligence in Romania during the Cold War. He writes about Russia's campaign of disinformation during the Cold War years. Disinformation: the deliberate spreading of falsehoods to shape public opinion. He describes a campaign of lying, defamation, and historical revisionism that changed how reality was perceived He describes in great detail the campaign to discredit the Pope and the Catholic Church.

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Bonus: read the eBook!

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown
by Steve Sheinkin

When the US and Soviet Union come out of WWII as super powers with opposing agendas, a competition immediately begins: bombs, the space race, undercover spies. The Cold War becomes most dangerous during the Cuban Missile Crisis--Kennedy vs Krushchev. It was the world's close call with the third--and final world war. This 2021 Young Adult book is written in Sheinkin's usual fast paced style.

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Bonus: listen to the eAudiobook!


Time of Fear: America in the Era of Red Scares and Cold War
by Albert Marrin

In this 2021 Young Adult publication, historian Albert Marrin focuses on the rise and fall of the CPUSA (Communist Party in USA) beginning with the Bolshevik Revolution and ending with the fall of the USSR. Marrin develops the thesis that when ideologies clash--it usually leads to intolerance and injustice. He covers the 1940s, with the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan, then thoroughly discusses the Red Scare that led to the Federal Employee Loyalty program targeting government workers and educators. He follows with the Rosenberg Spy Ring and the McCarthy Investigation, and ends with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall the dissolution of the USSR.

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Bonus: listen to the eAudiobook!

The Shadow Land
by Elizabeth Kostova

American Alexandra Boyd has come to Bulgaria to teach and to heal wounds left by the death of her brother. Soon after arriving in Sofia, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi and realizes she has accidentally kept one of their bags. After checking the bag, she realizes she holds an urn with someone's ashes. As she seeks the family, we learn through flashbacks about the brutality of Stalin's oppression and the subtle remains of that oppression over 50 years later.

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by Sharon Cameron

In 1946 Eva leaves the rubble of Berlin for the streets of New York City, stepping from one war to another--a colder one. Eva holds the keys to a deadly secret: Project Bluebird--a horrific experiment of mind control practiced at Nazi concentration camps. Both the American and the Soviets want this information and will follow and coerce Eva to get it. Who is the enemy--the US or the Soviet Union? Eva isn't sure who she can trust.

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by Laura Elliott

In the days before the overnight raising of the Berlin Wall, teen cousins, Drew, an American army brat in West Berlin, and Matthias, a young communist in East Berlin become wary friends on opposite sides of the Cold War. The cousins face possible repercussions if they become friendly. Drew's father may be suspected as a friend of the enemy if the family fraternizes with East Germans. Matthias may simply disappear if he is suspected of having Western leanings. When the wall goes up, will Matthias want to leave his roots? The book is enhanced with photos from the era at the beginning of each chapter.

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