Books by Author Francis Gary Powers

Both my parents worked for the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s. On May 1, 1960 my father was shot down over the Soviet Union while on a CIA U-2 spy flight and spent nearly 2 years in a Soviet prison before being exchanged for Soviet KGB Spy Colonel Rudolph Abel in 1962 as recently depicted in Steven Spielberg’s Cold War thriller, “Bridge of Spies.” As a result of my father’s untimely death in 1977, I started to do research in college to find out the truth or what took place because of all the conspiracy theories and fake news that surrounded my father. As a result of my research, I not only cleared my father’s reputation, but also in 1996 founded The Cold War Museum to honor Cold War veterans, preserve Cold War history, and educate future generations about this time period. These four books about my father, the U-2 Incident and the Cold War in Virginia that I have written document the truth of what took place on May 1, 1960, setting the record straight in regards to my father’s role in the incident and taking my father’s reputation from infamy to that of an American hero posthumously awarded the POW Medal and Silver Star.
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Spy Pilot

Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident, and a Controversial Cold War Legacy
Francis Gary Powers (Jr.), Francis Gary Powers, Keith Dunnavant, Sergei Krushchev, 2019
Based on newly available information, the son of famed U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers presents the facts and dispels misinformation about the Cold War espionage program that turned his father into a Cold War icon. One of the most talked-about events of the Cold War was the downing of the American U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers over the Soviet Union on May 1, 1960. The event was recently depicted in the Steven Spielberg movie Bridge of Spies. Powers was captured by the KGB, subjected to a televised show trial, and imprisoned, all of which created an international incident. Soviet authorities eventually released him in exchange for captured Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. On his return to the United States, Powers was exonerated of any wrongdoing while imprisoned in Russia, yet due to bad press and the government's unwillingness to heartily defend Powers, a cloud of controversy lingered until his untimely death in 1977. Now his son, Francis Gary Powers Jr. and acclaimed historian Keith Dunnavant have written this new account of Powers's life based on personal files that had never been previously available. Delving into old audio tapes, letters his father wrote and received while imprisoned in the Soviet Union, the transcript of his father's debriefing by the CIA, other recently declassified documents about the U-2 program, and interviews with the spy pilot's contemporaries, Powers and Dunnavant set the record straight. The result is a fascinating piece of Cold War history. This is also a book about a son's journey to understand his father, pursuing justice and a measure of peace. Almost sixty years after the fact, this will be the definitive account of one of the most important events of the Cold War.