After three of his plane's engines flamed out, Capt. John Murray was forced to land at night during a ferocious storm in the middle of the ocean.
Editor’s Note: One of the most dramatic books we’ve read recently is Eric Lindner’s tale of the crash of a Lockheed Constellation into the North Atlantic.
Much of what we know today about the leadership of the Soviet Union and the mindset of the Cold War era is due to the late son of Nikita Khrushchev.
Largely unknown to his cabinet, Ronald Reagan broke with previous U.S. policy and initiated a global campaign of economic and political warfare against the Soviets.
The Soviet Union was erased from world maps not because of a reform process or a series of diplomatic arrangements. It simply could not sustain itself. Historians will debate for decades, perhaps centuries, which factors weighed most on the Soviet system. Was it the bankruptcy of State ideology?
Miscalculations and blunders by world leaders precipitated the Korean War 60 years ago
On its 60th anniversary, the Korean War looks much like Vietnam, a pointless conflict that gained nothing for those who began it: North Korea’s Kim Il-sung and South Korea’s Syngman Rhee, with the consent of the Soviet Union’s Joseph Stalin and China’s Mao Zedong. Yet it was far worse than that: The bloodletting in that corner of northeast Asia was an exercise in human folly that cost all sides in the fighting nearly 4 million lives lost, missing, and wounded, not to mention the devastation of the peninsula from Pusan in the south to the Yalu River in the north. Not a single northern or southern Korean city escaped the ravages wrought by modern warfare. Public buildings and private homes were turned into piles of rubble, while thousands of refugees fled from the scenes of battle.
On the 25th anniversary of two famous Reagan speeches, the former Speaker of the House asks why we haven’t learned more from the 40th president
During their vacation, a couple from the United States crossed Checkpoint Charlie and had a harrowing experience as they encountered soldiers on both sides of the Berlin Wall.
In the Summer of 1978 my wife, Betts, and I drove through Europe. After touring West Berlin, we decided to visit the eastern part of the city. At Checkpoint Charlie we walked through a complicated network of wire cages.
What a skeptical biographer discovered about a very elusive subject
A final interview with the most controversial father of the atomic age, Edward Teller
In his kaleidoscopic novel U.S.A., a trilogy published between 1930 and 1936, John Dos Passos offered a descriptive line that has always stayed with me.
Six Aspects Of The Man—Three Political, Three Personal—Hint At How Posterity Will View Him
The United States Information Agency did not long survive the Cold War it helped wage. But today the lessons it taught us may be more useful than ever.
Fifty years ago this summer the Eisenhower administration created a unique federal agency, one that most Americans never even knew about.
Our common history isn’t all pleasant, but seeing it firsthand is deeply moving
A soldier-historian looks at how the world has changed in the past decade and finds that America is both hostage to history and likely to be saved by it
Military historians sometimes write biographies of people they call military intellectuals.
The Cuban Missile Crisis as seen from the Kremlin
In his last speech as President, he inaugurated the spirit of the 1960s
Whatever the calendars say, in some figurative sense America’s 1950s ended, and the 1960s began, on January 17, 1961, when President Dwight D.
The strangest of all Cold War relics also offers a clue to why we won it
From Berlin to Washington to Area 51, landmarks of the era are opening up to tourists.
Nikita Khrushchev’s son remembers a great turning point of the Cold War, as seen from behind the Iron Curtain
On May 1, 1960, a Soviet V-750 surface-to-air missile (known in America as the SA-Z “Guideline”) shot down a U-2, one of the “invulnerable” American spy planes. The plane was a phantom—of all the secret projects of those years, perhaps the most secret.
Nikita Khrushchev’s son recalls a world where the United States was the Evil Empire—and Soviet superpower a carefully maintained illusion.
Growing up on a Cold War air base in the shadow of the big one
“Do you realize there are fifteen hundred babies born a month in SAC?” says Jimmy Stewart, playing a B-36 pilot in the 1954 film Strategic Air Command . I was raised among those babies.
It was born of a slew of compromises—which may be the secret of its survival in a vastly changed world
Sometimes historical changes march onstage to the sound of trumpet fanfares. And sometimes they arrive with what seems remarkably little notice by a distracted audience.
SIXTY YEARS AGO THIS MONTH the Soviet Union orbited a “man-made moon” whose derisive chirp persuaded Americans they’d already lost a race that had barely begun
In an exchange of letters, a man who had an immeasurable impact on how the great struggle of our times was waged looks back on how it began.
Seen in its proper historical context—amid the height of the Cold War—the investigation into Kennedy’s assassination looks much more impressive and its shortcomings much more understandable
Though it appears to have sprung up overnight, the inspiration of free-spirited hackers, it in fact was born in Defense Department Cold War projects of the 1950s
The Internet seems so now, so happening, so information age, that its Gen-X devotees might find the uncool circumstances of its birth hard to grasp.
The first American to leave the Earth's atmosphere recalls the momentous flight that put us on a course for the moon.
THE SHRILL RINGING WOKE ME from deep sleep early in the morning of April 12, 1961. I was confused for a moment, but only a moment. I was in my room in the Holiday Inn at Cocoa Beach, Florida.
The half-remembered Korean conflict was full of surprises, and nearly all of them were unpleasant
Korea is in the news again, and it’s ugly news. North Korea may or may not have the capability to make nuclear weapons, and North Korea’s aging dictator, Kim Il Sung, is unwilling to let international inspectors find out. The United Nations is talking of sanctions.
After every war in the nation’s history, the military has faced not only calls for demobilization but new challenges and new opportunities. It is happening again.
Not many people appreciate a military base closing. Like the shutting of a factory, it can devastate nearby towns, throwing thousands of people out of work. Merchants face losses and even bankruptcy as sales fall off.
The Cold War was an anomaly: more often than not the world’s two greatest states have lived together in uneasy amity. And what now?
Exactly two hundred years after George Washington’s inauguration as the first President of the United States and three hundred years after Peter the Great’s ascent to the Russian throne, a new chapter opened in the history of the relations of the two greatest
In the twilight of Castro’s regime, one of the soldiers who put him in power recalls what it was like to be a fidelista up in the hills four decades ago when a whole new, just, democratic world was there for the building
Like a hurricane spawned in distant waters, the full force of the collapse of world Communism has finally reached the island of Cuba and seems poised to sweep away the last vestiges of the Marxist-Leninist structure erected there over the last three decades.