The Cold War: Return of the Airmen

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The inaugural music was just fading away in Washington when, across the top of the world, U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Llewellyn ("Tommy") Thompson was summoned to the Kremlin office of Nikita Khrushchev. For two hours Thompson and Khrushchev talked, and within minutes after Thompson emerged into the bitter Russian winter, the diplomatic wires were humming between the capitals of the two great cold war powers.

For the next two days, top Administration officials hurried in and out of the White House—but kept strict silence as to the subject of their conversations with...

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