PD Smith

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17 November 2007 | Brzezinski, cold war, iron curtain, Khrushchev, Korolev, Reviewing, USSR, Wright | Post a comment

I've just reviewed two excellent Cold War histories for the Guardian: Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age, by Matthew Brzezinski, and Iron Curtain: From Stage to Cold War, by Patrick Wright.

Here's the first paragraph:

"On February 27 1956, Khrushchev and members of the Supreme Soviet Presidium (as the Politburo was then known) left Moscow in a convoy of official limousines bound for NII-88, the USSR's top-secret rocket research laboratory. They were on their way to meet a man whose work was so secret his name had been erased from all records. Officially referred to as the chief designer, the man in charge of the Soviet missile programme would only be named after his death: Sergei Korolev."

They are very different books: Red Moon Rising is popular in style, with a compelling narrative. Iron Curtain is a richly researched and highly original history that reveals the origins of that key Cold War metaphor - the Iron Curtain. Both are well worth reading and I recommend them.

You can read the rest of the review on the Guardian's site, here.

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