By Any Means Necessary by William E. Burrows
America's Secret Air War in the Cold War

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The "Blind Man's Bluff" of aerial espionage.

Unknown to the public and cloaked in the utmost secrecy, the United States flew missions against the Communist bloc almost continuously during the Cold War in a desperate effort to collect intelligence and find targets for all-out nuclear war. The only hint of the relentless, clandestine operations came when one of the planes was shot down. Many of the air force and navy flyers were killed on the top secret missions. But now, for the first time, award-winning historian William E. Burrows shows that others were captured by the Russians, Chinese, and North Koreans, and were tortured, imprisoned, and killed, while their loved ones grieved and their government looked the other way. In an effort to improve relations with Russia, Washington is still looking the other way, though it pretends otherwise.

Burrows has interviewed scores of men who flew these "black" missions, as well as the widows and children of those who never returned, all of whom want the full story finally told. He has done so with an eye to this story's immensely human dimension. By Any Means Necessary is not about airplanes, but about the people who've sacrificed their lives in the interests of national security.

About William E. Burrows

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William E. Burrows is the author of the award-winning "Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security." He is a professor of journalism at New York University, and is the founder and director of its Science and Environmental Reporting Program.
Published October 10, 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 416 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War. Non-fiction

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However, Burrows does not neglect the technical dimensions of aerial intelligence, such as the development of the SR-71 Blackbird, which replaced the famed U2, and the dawn of the satellite era, which largely, but not completely, supplanted the use of spy planes.

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The New York Times

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Covert flights nevertheless had a brief renaissance in the early 1980's, when President Ronald Reagan approved probes of the Soviet periphery by United States planes and naval vessels in order to jangle Soviet nerves.

Dec 16 2001 | Read Full Review of By Any Means Necessary: Ameri...

Publishers Weekly

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When a Chinese fighter collided with an American EP-3E Aries II reconnaissance plane on April 1, 2001, it was merely the most recent incident in a long string dating back to the end of WWII.

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