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Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth | [Frederick Kempe]

Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth

A former Wall Street Journal editor and the current president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, Frederick Kempe draws on recently released documents and personal interviews to re-create the powder keg that was 1961 Berlin. In Cold War Berlin, the United States and the Soviet Union stand nose to nose, with the possibility of nuclear war just one misstep away.
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Publisher's Summary

A former Wall Street Journal editor and the current president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, Frederick Kempe draws on recently released documents and personal interviews to re-create the powder keg that was 1961 Berlin. In Cold War Berlin, the United States and the Soviet Union stand nose to nose, with the possibility of nuclear war just one misstep away.

©2011 Frederick Kempe (P)2011 Recorded Books

What Members Say

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4.4 (51 )
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  •  
    theenglishmajor NJ 06-26-11
    theenglishmajor NJ 06-26-11 Member Since 2001

    theenglishmajor

    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    82
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    21
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    Overall
    "I am scared in retrospect"

    I was living in Berlin as an American military dependent during the time period that this book examines. I was horrified to learn how close we came, those of us living in West Berlin and going about our daily lives, to being vaporized by the Russians. I must have sensed the anxiety because I remember vividly asking my father on a regular basis "If we went to war with the Russians, who would win?" I remember the question. I do not remember the answer. My father was the commanding officer of AFN Berlin, the American Forces Network radio station at the time. We had no TV. We only had the radio. I remember all the circumstances described in the book. I was largely unaware of the context. Indeed, I was in East Berlin on a "tour" with my sister and a Swedish cousin who was visiting, one week before the wall went up. I was actually in Sweden visiting relatives with my parents the day the wall went up on August 13, 1961. I remember vividly the trek thru the Eastern Germany and the Checkpoint like a Hitchcock movie. We hurried back to West Berlin as my two younger brothers were still in the city in the care of a babysitter. My father is no longer alive to discuss these events with me so I only have the memories of the time and the conversations we had about those events. I found this book to be so insightful albeit terrifying. It is so frightening to learn after the fact how close to the front line we were living (for 5 years!) unaware of the danger we were in. Berlin, its charm and its drama had such an effect on all of the Americans that lived through those days that we have "found" each other and formed a group, a collective it you will. The experience defines us like no other experience has. Mr. Kempe did an outstanding job bringing those days to life again.... in all their triumph and fear. Reading the book I felt in a way that family secrets were being revealed. Enjoyed this book immensely and have recommended it hi

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 03-09-14
    William SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 03-09-14 Member Since 2013

    My book reviews, except for fiction, will mostly be about the information value of a book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    12
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    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Practical information we can use today"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Berlin 1961 to be better than the print version?

    They are both good.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Berlin 1961?

    Everything was memorable.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Hecht’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. This compares well with his other performances. I wish Paul Hecht could read all books.


    If you could rename Berlin 1961, what would you call it?

    I wouldn't rename this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Dunham Windham, ME USA 10-10-12
    C. Dunham Windham, ME USA 10-10-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eye opening"
    What did you love best about Berlin 1961?

    I was a young child during this time, and didn't know about this. I had heard bits and pieces but nothing as detailed as this.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The history facts.


    Have you listened to any of Paul Hecht’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, was just amazed that I had never heard the history stated in this way


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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