The 1960s

The U-2

A - L

Air Force. Editors. "Five Lessons for America: The Powers Trial and Its Aftermath." 43 (Oct. 1960): 37-41. [Petersen]

Anderson, Jack. "U.S. Heard Russians Chasing U-2." Washington Post, 12 May 1960. [Bamford2]

Aviation Week & Space Technology. Editors. "U.S. to Continue U-2 Flights Over Soviet." 16 May 1960, 26-27. [Petersen]

Belair, Felix, Jr. "President Asserts Secrecy of Soviet Justifies Spying." New York Times, 12 May 1960.

"President Eisenhower said [on 11 May 1960] that the Soviet Union's ability to prepare in secret a massive surprise attack was ample warrant for the United States' 'distasteful but vital' espionage activities. In a carefully worded statement read at his news conference the President said that the Soviet 'fetish of secrecy and concealment' was 'a major cause of international tension and uneasiness.' It was the President's first public comment on the downing of an American U-2 reconnaissance plane over Soviet territory and official Soviet indignation over the incident."

Beschloss, Michael R. May-Day: Eisenhower, Khrushchev and the U-2 Incident. New York: Harper & Row, 1986.

Petersen sees May-Day as a "scholarly treatment that concentrates on the political and diplomatic dimensions of the incident." According to Winks, IJI&C 1.3, Beschloss presents a "closely-researched, intelligent account of the impact of the U-2 affair on Soviet-American relations in the 1960s.... [O]n the political front Beschloss deserves a clear 'A,'... [b]ut in science the book rates a gentlemen's 'C'.... Lawrence R. Houston ... has criticized Beschloss for getting his facts wrong about the cameras carried aboard the U-2, and for exaggerating the fragility and instability of the aircraft (Periscope: Journal of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, XI [Summer, 1986], 11)."

Bissell, Richard M., Jr. Interview by Brackley Shaw. "Origins of the U-2." Air Power History 36, no. 4 (1989): 15-21.

As the DCI's special assistant for planning and coordination from 1954, Bissell directed the development of the U-2. Clark comment: Bissell's role in his later position as Deputy Director for Plans in organizing and carrying out the Bay of Pigs invasion has tended to obscure his earlier successes in developing the U-2 and portions of the satellite reconnaissance program.

Bissell, Richard M., Jr., with Jonathan E. Lewis and Frances T. Pudlo. Reflections of a Cold Warrior: From Yalta to the Bay of Pigs. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996. JK468I6B55

Shryock, WIR 15.6, sees Bissell's memoirs as "thoughtful, candid, provocative, and ultimately puzzling." However, at times, the author "conveys his thoughts in a stiff, disorganized, and even excessively lawyerly manner." Falcoff, National Interest, Winter 1996-1997, finds the book "informative and stimulating," despite "its unexciting prose and a tendency to flatten what must have been far more dramatic events."

For Immerman, Choice 34.2, this work is disappointing but "nevertheless has value. It provides a succinct history of some of America's most dramatic Cold War initiatives and insight into the mindsets of their architects." Chambers concludes that "[t]here are no major disclosures. However, Bissell's personal recollections do add a new and useful viewpoint to the history of these operations." Click for a full review by Chambers.

"Methodological problems" with Bissell's memoirs are raised by Westerfield, Studies (Winter 1998-1999). Noting the clear acknowledgement that the "actual writing was done by [Bissell's] two collaborators," Westerfield also is concerned that "the posthumous additions (not clearly delineated ) obscure throughout what words were ever personally approved by Bissell and what ones were not."

Blanchard, William H. "National Myth, National Character, and National Policy: A Psychological Study of the U-2 Incident." Journal of Conflict Resolution 6, no. 2 (1962): 143-148. [Petersen]

Caruthers, Osgood. "Soviet Downs American Plane: Premier Is Bitter; Assails 'Provocation Aimed at Wrecking' May 16 Parley." New York Times, 6 May 1960.

This is a report on a speech made by Khrushchev to the opening session of the USSR Supreme Soviet. The Russian Premier covered a number of subjects, including announcing the downing of the U.S. U-2.

Cater, Douglas. "Chronicle of Confusion: U.S. Treatment of U-2." Reporter 22 (9 Jun. 1960): 15-17. [Petersen]

Donovan, James B. "The Powers Espionage Trial." America, 29 Oct. 1960, 142-144.

Johnson, Clarence L. ("Kelly"), with Maggie Smith. Kelly: More Than My Share of It All. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985. 1989. [pb]

In a 40-plus-year career, Kelly Johnson did much more than engineer the U-2, A-12, and SR-71, and those masterpieces are only a part of Johnson's recounting of his life.

Lewis, Jonathan E. "Tension and Triumph: Civilian and Military Relations and the Birth of the U-2 Program." In Corona -- Between the Earth and the Sun: The First NRO Reconnaissance Eye in Space, ed. Robert A. McDonald, 13-23. Bethesda, MD: American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 1997.

Loeb, Vernon. "At CIA Tribute, the U-2 Flies Out of the Cold War's Long Shadows." Washington Post, 18 Sep. 1998, A3.

On 17 September 1998, the CIA hosted a symposium on the U-2 at the National War College in Washington, DC. It used the occasion to release "its once-secret internal history of the development and use of the plane during its first 20 years, including a previously classified account of the [1 May 1960 Francis Gary] Powers downing on the last of 24 covert reconnaissance missions flown over the Soviet Union." Among the guests were Powers' wife and son; Powers died in a helicopter crash in 1977.

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