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Spies: The Secret Showdown Between America and Russia

by Marc Favreau

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352620,947 (4)None
A thrilling account of the Cold War spies and spycraft that changed the course of history, perfect for readers of Bomb and The Boys Who Challenged Hitler. The Cold War spanned five decades as America and the USSR engaged in a battle of ideologies with global ramifications. Over the course of the war, with the threat of mutually assured nuclear destruction looming, billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives were devoted to the art and practice of spying, ensuring that the world would never be the same. Rife with intrigue and filled with fascinating historical figures whose actions shine light on both the past and present, this timely work of narrative nonfiction explores the turbulence of the Cold War through the lens of the men and women who waged it behind closed doors, and helps explain the role secret and clandestine operations have played in America's history and its national security.… (more)
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Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher at ALA Annual 2019.
  fernandie | Sep 15, 2022 |
Spies details the relationship between the United States and Russia after WWII with afterward information taking it to the modern time period.

What I like about the narrative non-fiction book is the simplicity of the chapters, making it accessible to middle schoolers. As the book begins to conclude, the chapters are broader and less focused. It is necessary considering what happens in that time period with the Cold War ending and the Berlin Wall falling so suddenly. The narrative takes the reader through each time period and concentrates on one main spy with each time frame. We meet both Russian and American spies as well as double-agents.

I'm one of those people who cannot remember what I'm reading unless I take notes. This novel is the 2020-2021 Pentathlon book, which is why I read it. I've always been fascinated by spies and was excited to read it. I can't imagine taking the chances they take, especially those who lived in Russia and gave secrets to the United States. The Russians have never messed around; their punishment would be severe. I was able to just read this book, but if I were needing to write essays and think about the ramifications for contest, I would have extensive notes. The book would be easy to take notes from because of it's clear organization. There are enough names to need a list, but there aren't so many names that you are confused and lost or feel like you're reading an original Tom Clancy novel!

This book should be read by students to understand the history of Russia and the United States. Witnessing these events as a young adult continues to color my view of politics and Russia--I even recognized ones of the names because he was a famous spy. I had read a book about him as well. When his name was casually mentioned, my eyes widened because it was years before the United States figured out his secret. It's important to know that countries still try to infiltrate and influence other countries. It's the reality of our world, especially with social media. Being savvy about information is a must, especially when foreign governments seek out regular people and these people don't even know it.

I also liked all of the information at the back of the book--it would have been nice to have noticed that before I started reading! ( )
  acargile | Nov 1, 2020 |
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A thrilling account of the Cold War spies and spycraft that changed the course of history, perfect for readers of Bomb and The Boys Who Challenged Hitler. The Cold War spanned five decades as America and the USSR engaged in a battle of ideologies with global ramifications. Over the course of the war, with the threat of mutually assured nuclear destruction looming, billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives were devoted to the art and practice of spying, ensuring that the world would never be the same. Rife with intrigue and filled with fascinating historical figures whose actions shine light on both the past and present, this timely work of narrative nonfiction explores the turbulence of the Cold War through the lens of the men and women who waged it behind closed doors, and helps explain the role secret and clandestine operations have played in America's history and its national security.

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